Scope of Service:
Distress Centre Calgary, as a provider of social work services, is subject to the compliance with the Canadian Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and Alberta College of Social Workers Standards of Practice. These documents identify the critical importance of non-discrimination, informed consent, and confidentiality in clients’ decision making with regard to their use of Distress Centre Calgary services.
Distress Centre Calgary is committed to providing the best possible service at all times including through Calls, Chats, Texts, Emails and in-person counselling sessions. Our services and partnerships may be monitored and recorded for training and quality assurance purposes.
You may use Distress Centre Calgary Crisis Services (e.g. phone, chat, text) without providing any personal information unless you want to. Volunteers and staff in our Crisis and 211 programs do not provide therapy, treatment, mental health care, or medical care but they will provide support, assistance, information on services, and helpful resources.
You may elect to use 211 services without providing any personal information. Our Community Resource Specialists will ask for a postal code in every contact. This is to help identify the resources closest to you and to help identify issue trends and unmet needs. Community Resource Specialists conduct through needs assessments, connect you with resources to meet those needs, and provide advocacy and follow-up as appropriate and required. When accessing the Basic Needs Fund through 211, you will be required to provide personal information to complete the intake process and be connected with the Basic Needs Coordinator.
To access Distress Centre Calgary in-house Crisis Counselling you will need to provide us with your personal information for an intake either through calling the crisis lines or completing the online intake form. All counselling services are provided by master level, registered Social Workers or Psychologists.
Distress Centre Calgary is committed to safeguarding the personal information entrusted to us by our service users, volunteers and donors. Distress Centre Calgary manages your personal information in accordance with: Alberta College of Social Workers Standards of Practice, Alberta Health Information Act (HIA), Alberta Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act (PIPEDA).
We take your privacy and security very seriously and work to ensure your personal information is safeguarded. We maintain appropriate technical and organizational safeguards and security controls to protect your personal information against loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification. Access to your personal information is restricted to Distress Centre Calgary’s employees, volunteers and authorized service providers who need it to do their jobs. We will limit how long we keep information. We will keep your personal information only as long as it is necessary to satisfy the purposes for which it was obtained, or as required by law. We will not share or disclose your personally identifiable information with the exception of our limits to confidentiality, as outlined below.
In addition, we collect and store information, including unattributed, non-identifying demographic content of interactions, which we use to create aggregate statistical information up to the level of postal code for the purpose of quality assurance, data and trend analysis as well as research aimed at contributing to the advancement of the social sector and crisis services. Data is collected, stored and used only for the purpose of facilitating better help to clients, ensuring quality assurance and for clearly defined analysis or research objectives that we determine could contribute to the development of leading practices in the social sector and crisis response. Distress Centre Calgary produces monthly, quarterly and annual aggregate trend analysis reports that are shared with community, funders and policy makers. These reports aim to identify the needs and emerging trends faced by those using our service with the goal of furthering the work of the social sector in addressing the emerging and complex needs of our community.
Limits to Confidentiality:
The above mentioned Acts and Standards contain very specific guidelines for the treatment of your personal information. Personal information may include your name, phone number, email address, or IP address. Distress Centre Calgary ensures, to the best of our ability, that we do not share any personal information about your use of Distress Centre Calgary services unless:
- You explicitly agree and provide consent to have your personal information shared for specific reasons and to specific agencies or people you want involved in assisting you.
- Distress Centre Calgary believes that you are at serious risk of harm to yourself or someone else (as determined by our risk assessment procedures), in which case we are ethically obligated to use any and all reasonable steps to prevent that serious harm. Those steps may include contacting law enforcement or other authorities.
- If you share information that indicates a child is at risk of abuse or neglect.
- We are required by law, such as a valid court order, legal subpoena or government investigation, to report information about your use of Distress Centre Calgary services.
Distress Centre Calgary values feedback, and will receive and address any complaints in a fair and professional manner according to Distress Centre Calgary Policies and Procedures. Each complaint is addressed and followed-up by the appropriate supervisor/manager. Client complaints are documented and the information is stored and reviewed regularly to improve service or resolve client disputes.
Distress Centre Calgary responds in a timely manner to donor requests and concerns; if the donor’s questions, concerns or complaints have not been resolved to the donor’s satisfaction or if the donor has further questions, the donor can contact Distress Centre Calgary’s Executive Director. Distress Centre Calgary will closely monitor complaints received from donors and prospective donors and seek to provide clarity and, where applicable, solutions to the problems.