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Client Bill of Rights

Background

Every human being has inherent worth, and deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. It is upon this essential human right that Dalton Associates’ Bill of Rights has been developed.

Policy

Dalton Associates has developed the Bill of Rights to emphasize an organizational culture that focuses on the client, and their essential personhood, above all else. In addition, these rights are outlined to promote a culture of open communication, cooperation, and mutual respect between clients, clinical professionals, and administrative staff members of Dalton Associates.

“Client” may include parent/guardian or substitute decision makers, when clients themselves do not have the capacity to consent to or make decisions about their services.

Please note that these rights are necessarily limited as they are based on and subject to: 1) Dalton Associates having the competencies and capacity to deliver safe and appropriate services to clients, 2) clients having the ability, capacity and resources to safely engage in services; and 3) standards and legislation which are mandated to be followed by Dalton Associates.

“Services” include psychological, behavioural, and mental health services delivered through Dalton Associates and our associated programs.

Right #1: Right to be treated with Dignity and Respect

  • All clients are to be treated with dignity and respect throughout all aspects of their experience with Dalton Associates, including, but not limited to, registration, and service delivery.
  • All clients are to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their age, gender identity, race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, mental and/or physical disability, socioeconomic status, etc.
  • All clients’ beliefs, values, experiences, and needs are to be respected.

Right #2: Right to Freedom from Harm

  • All clients have the right to a safe space in which to receive services with Dalton Associates; free from physical, psychological, sexual, spiritual, or financial dangers or harm. In the case of in-person services, Dalton Associates’ professionals will provide this safe space. In the case of services delivered via telephone or online videoconferencing platform, Dalton Associates commits to providing secure options for engaging in services, while clients have the responsibility to ensure they have a private and safe location in which to engage in services.
  • All clients are to receive  services from Dalton Associates that are free from discrimination, harassment, and exploitation.

Right #3: Right to Privacy and Confidentiality

  • All clients have the right to receive services from Dalton Associates in a manner that respects their privacy and confidentiality.
  • All clients have the right to communicate with all professionals of Dalton Associates in a manner that respects their privacy and confidentiality, which includes, but is not limited to, communication via telephone, email, videoconferencing technology, and in-person meetings.
  • All clients have the right to their personal health information being stored in a confidential and secure manner.
  • All clients have the right to provide full, informed, written consent prior to any personal health information being communicated with third-parties, regardless who is paying for services.
  • All clients have the right to be fully informed about the legal limits to confidentiality, including the legal and/or ethical obligations to:
      • Inform a potential victim of violence of a client’s intention to harm;
      • Inform an appropriate family member, health care professional, or police if necessary, of a client’s intention to end his or her life.
      • Release a client’s record where necessary for particular legal proceedings;
      • Release a client’s file if there is a court order to do so;
      • Release a client’s file is there is a warrant for client information. Inform the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) / Family and Children’s Services (FACS) if there is suspicion of a child being at risk of, or in need of, protection due to neglect, or physical, sexual (inclusive of child pornography), or emotional abuse;
      • Report a health professional who has sexually abused a client;
      • Release records in accordance with the terms of an order or an urgent demand from an officer, in relation to a missing person;
      • Share my identifying information to relevant authorities (i.e., public health), if required, with respect to infectious disease control requirements for contact tracing procedures (i.e., should I, my clinician, or another client who receives services at my clinician’s office test positive for an infectious disease);
      • Share billing information with a Collections Agency for the purpose of collecting fees, if applicable
      • Report elder abuse in long term care facilities;
      • Share information within Dalton Associates or regulatory colleges (e.g.,  College of Psychologists of Ontario, College of Psychotherapists of Ontario, or the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers), for supervision or auditing purposes;
      • Share non-identifiable information with another practice associate at Launch Behavioural Health/Dalton Associates for the purposes of consultation.

Right #4: Right to Safe Services that Comply with Standards and Legislation

  • All clients have the right to receive services that are carried out by professionals with the competence and experience to support their unique challenges.
  • Every client has the right to receive p services that comply with the regulations and legislation governing services in the province of Ontario.

Right #5: Right to Independent, Informed Decision-Making and Consent

  • All clients have the right to be fully informed about all their service options and the routes to receiving said services, including fee information, with Dalton Associates.
  • All clients have the right to be fully informed about all aspects of the service they receive through Dalton Associates, including, but not limited to, the potential risks and benefits of the service, to whom information gathered will be disclosed and why, goals of service, length of service, and diagnoses, as applicable.
  • All clients have the right to be informed when any third-party request for their personal health information is made, and, in the case that they agree to disclosure, the right to fully review the information prior to disclosure.
  • All clients have the right to make independent, and fully informed decisions regarding their services with Dalton Associates, including, but not limited to, whether to register and engage in the services, and the goals of treatment.
  • Should a client be unable to understand the information presented to them (e.g., a young child), their parent or legal guardian will be provided the information.

Right #6: Right to Complain

  • All clients have the right to complain to Dalton Associates regarding any aspect of their interaction or services received by the organization, without fear of retribution.
  • All clients have the right to complain to the regulatory college (e.g., the College of Psychologists of Ontario, College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, etc.) with which their clinician is registered.
  • All clients will be informed of the internal and external complaints procedures at the time that they consent to service with Dalton Associates.

Right #7: Right to client centred services

  • Our clients are the primary beneficiary of our services. Given this, all clients have the right to access services that prioritize their well-being and progress above all else, regardless of the funding source or any other stakeholder interests.
  • In any situations where a conflict arises between the client’s needs and those of external stakeholders (e.g., funders, agencies), the client’s needs and best interests will be of primary consideration in all decisions.