Yes, You Can Share Information to Protect a Child

Brian Beamish

Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

 

All too often, misunderstandings and confusion about privacy laws are the reason that professionals such as police officers, paramedics and nurses are reluctant to share information with a children’s aid society (CAS) about a child who may be at risk. While it may be well-intentioned to refuse to share this information, it may place a child at greater risk. The reality is that Ontario law permits professionals working with children to share information with a CAS, and in some cases, requires it.

To demonstrate that privacy is not a barrier to disclosing information about children at risk, my office, in collaboration with the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, has published a new guide, Yes, You Can. Dispelling the Myths About Sharing Information with CAS. This publication explains Ontario’s privacy legislation and dispels common misconceptions about sharing a child’s personal information. It underlines the fact that it is okay to disclose information to protect a child from harm and that privacy is not a barrier to disclosing information about a child’s safety and well-being. I hope you will find the information in this guide useful and that it leads to Ontario’s CASs getting the important information they need to help children at risk. If you have any questions about this guide, or about Ontario’s access and privacy laws, please visit our website or contact us at info@ipc.on.ca.