Presumption of consent’s validity

You may presume that a consent is valid and has not been withdrawn, unless it is unreasonable to do so.62 This applies whether you directly obtain an individual’s consent, or receive a document claiming to be a record of their consent.

You can also rely on a person’s claim they have authority to consent on someone else’s behalf — for example, as a substitute decision-maker — except where it is unreasonable to do so.63 For example, it would be unreasonable to rely on a person’s claim that they have authority to consent as a child’s custodial parent if you are aware that they no longer have custody of the child.

You receive a letter from a social worker at another organization, requesting certain information about a youth you have served. The letter includes a consent for disclosure form with the youth’s signature. Can you disclose the information?

Yes, you may disclose the information to the social worker. You may presume the consent is valid and has not been withdrawn unless it is not reasonable to do so (for example, if you are aware of a more recent document from the individual withdrawing consent).


62. CYFSA, s. 298.  Note that you can rely on a consent given before Part X comes into force, as long as it meets the requirements of Part X (s. 295(6)). However, you may wish to obtain new consents given the new requirements of the CYFSA, including that a verbal consent be recorded and the individual know the purposes for which the information can be used/disclosed.
63. CYFSA, s. 331(4)