Parent Guide to Privacy and Consent


Speech Services Niagara is a partnership program between Niagara Children’s Centre and the Niagara Health System. Speech Language Pathologists from both agencies work together in a seamless system to best meet the needs of your child. Whether your child is seen by a therapist from Niagara Children’s Centre or the Niagara Health System, it is important that personal health information about your child and family be collected and protected. The personal health information that we collect may include, for example, name, date of birth, address, health history records of visits and information about the care you and your child have received during those visits. When necessary for the purposes of care, we collect personal health information from other sources if we have obtained consent or, if the law permits. Niagara Children’s Centre is the lead agency for Speech Services Niagara. If you are seen by an employee of that agency, your personal health information will be contained within an electronic system. We limit collection of information to what is required to provide care to you and your family.

If services are provided by a Speech Language Pathologist from the Niagara Health System, or at one of the satellite locations in Welland or Niagara Falls by a Niagara Children’s Centre employee, then your information will be transferred to that hospital and continued to be stored there. What ever information has already been entered into the electronic system at Niagara Children’s Centre, will remain at Niagara Children’s Centre with copies going to the new site at time of transfer in order to continue your services.

Use and Disclosure of personal Health Information

At Niagara Children’s Centre, information is shared with your consent by only those professionals and organizations serving your child and family and through verbal and written communication and in an electronic record we may use the information to:

  • Treat and care for children and families
  • Plan, administer and manage our program
  • Conduct risk management activities
  • Conduct quality improvement activities, such as sending satisfaction surveys
  • Teach
  • Conduct research
  • Compile statistics
  • Fundraise to improve our health care services and program
  • Comply with legal and regulatory requirements
  • Fulfill other purposes permitted or required by law

Your Right to Privacy

Privacy legislation protects your right to:

  • Consent to how your information will be used and shared. Since your child’s team could include service providers and professionals from education, or community services, the Children’s Centre requires you to give expressed consent for these community partners to share information.  In order for your consent to be valid, you must be given sufficient information for your consent to be knowledgeable. We encourage you to ask any questions you need to so that you understand how your providers will use and protect your information.
  • Withhold or withdraw consent for information sharing except in specific circumstances where disclosure is legally required under the Child and Family Services Act
  • Provide consent verbally
  • Request access to your child’s or your electronic record
  • Request that a correction be made to your record

Your Choices

When you come to one of our satellites for services with a child, we function under your informed consent for initiation of assessment and treatment. You have the right to withdraw from services at anytime. Parent/caregivers receiving services from Niagara Children’s Centre may access and make corrections to their children’s personal health records or withdraw consent for some of the above uses and disclosures of information by contacting their therapist or their manager and filling out the appropriate form. Information on how to make change will be provided upon request. You will receive a response from the Children’s Centre Health Records committee within 5 working days to let you know if the correction is granted. Please note that there are legal exceptions.

Important Information

We take steps to protect your personal health information from theft, loss and unauthorized access, copying, modification, use, disclosure and disposal.

  • We conduct audits and complete investigations to monitor and manage our privacy compliance.
  • We take steps to ensure that everyone who performs services for us protect your privacy and only use your personal health information for the purposes you have consented to.

For more information about the privacy protection practices at Niagara Children’s Centre or to raise a concern you have with our practices, contact:

Dorothy Harvey, Privacy Officer, Niagara Children’s Centre
905-688-1890 ext. 200 or (do not send personal information)

For all other questions regarding your experiences with Speech Services Niagara contact the SSN Manager, Jackie Van Lankveld at or 905-688-1890 ext. 158.

If you need more information on your privacy rights or you are unable to resolve a privacy problem with us directly, you may contact the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner at:
Telephone (416) 326-3333 or 1-800-387-3333 FAX (416) 325-9195 or

Speech Services Niagara clients being served by Niagara Health System staff can access the hospital’s privacy policy on line at