January 13, 2023
In October of 2022, Family and Children Services of Renfrew County (FCSRC) was alerted to several alleged privacy breaches at the organization. FCSRC immediately undertook a thorough investigation and found that nine staff had accessed the case files of individuals that they were not authorized to view. These actions were breaches of both internal policies and procedures as well as privacy laws, including Part X of the Child, Youth, and Family Services Act. As required by law, FCSRC reported the breaches to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and directly notified those individuals whose privacy had been breached. FCSRC also suspended the nine staff involved.
“The families we work with have a right to privacy, and we take that right extremely seriously,” said Kathy Davis, Executive Director of FCSRC. “We do recognize the many positive contributions these staff make to the community and the people they work with, however, we cannot accept behavior that jeopardizes individuals’ and families’ rights to privacy.”
FCSRC has mandated privacy training refreshers for all staff, and enhanced its internal privacy protection audits and measures to ensure greater accountability across all roles in the organization.
“We want to assure the individuals and families we work with that we are taking definitive actions to protect their privacy,” said Kathy Davis, Executive Director of FCSRC. “While we are deeply troubled by the findings of the investigation, we are also confident that as a whole, the employees of the organization are professional, compassionate, and caring individuals who understand and respect the rights of those they serve, including the right to privacy.”
Family and Children’s Services of Renfrew County encourages everyone to know and exercise their right to privacy. More information can be found at https://www.ipc.on.ca/.