Family Services Ottawa Accountability, Confidentiality and Accessibility



Family Services Ottawa believes that equitable participation by all creates strong, healthy, and vibrant work environments and communities. We acknowledge that discrimination and oppression exist in our society and are violations of human rights and an abuse of power.

Consistent with our mission and values, we believe that discrimination is an act of oppression which affects the way people view the world around them.  This often shapes the perceptions of who is included and who is excluded. Acts of discrimination and oppression are not tolerated by this organization and immediate steps will be taken to address any and all allegations of discrimination and oppression.

Family Services Ottawa makes a commitment to providing services, establishing procedures and maintaining a work environment in which differences are respected and actively embraced as a source of strength in diversity.

Client Rights

Clients of family Services Ottawa can expect to receive the following rights:

  • Clients can expect to be treated honestly, with respect and dignity at all times, in a manner consistent with the values of the organization, the law, and Human Rights legislation.

  • Clients can expect to receive services in a professional manner from qualified personnel.

  • Clients are entitled to their privacy, and to have all their involvement with Family Services Ottawa treated confidentially.

  • Clients have the right to raise issues of concern about their counseling experience, services received, or any decisions made, by contacting their worker’s supervisor.

  • Clients can expect to be made aware of all significant policies and procedures related to the service they receive from Family Services Ottawa and to give informed consent for all services they receive.

  • Clients are entitled to know the contents of their case file(s) and can add to the record to correct inaccuracies.

  • Clients can expect a safe and secure service environment.

  • Clients have a right to make decisions about their service and participation, including the right to refuse or discontinue service at any time.

Client Responsibilities

Clients of Family Services Ottawa are expected to uphold the following responsibilities:

  • Clients are expected to participate to their fullest potential in the services provided.

  • Clients are expected to treat all volunteers, staff, other clients and property with respect.

  • Clients are expected to attend as scheduled and to provide sufficient notice should they be unable to attend a session.

  • Clients are expected to pay any fees for service in a prompt and reasonable manner.

  • Clients are expected to hold in confidence any information they learn regarding other individuals while at Family Services.

Complaints or Concerns

Clients have the right to raise issues of concern about their counseling experience, services received, or any decisions made, by contacting their worker or the supervisor.

Complaints may be made by clients, participants or the general public. The Organization treats such communication seriously at all times and will respond as necessary and with respect for FSO’s confidentiality policies.

Approach to Service

Family Services Ottawa’s approach to service delivery will focus on:

  • Respecting the unique values and beliefs of persons served.
  • Prioritizing the needs and preferences of clients.
  • Empowering clients to participate fully in decision making around the service they receive.
  • Identifying and building upon individual strengths.
  • Incorporating knowledge of the client’s environment and community resources.
  • Considering the clients’ structural and systemic context, including an individual’s family, friends, community, as well as social, cultural, and spiritual aspects.
  • Recognizing a client’s social location, intersectional identities, and access to social determinants of health.

We strive to be strength-based, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed in our work.

We seek to reduce barriers and increase accessibility for all, especially for those from historically and systematically underserved and marginalized population.

Privacy Policy

Family Services Ottawa is committed to protecting the privacy of individuals and the personal information used, collected or disclosed about these individuals. Family Services Ottawa is accountable to clients, employees, volunteers, services, funders and the public and such treats all information entrusted to the organization with utmost confidentiality and respect for privacy.

FSO will manage the collection, use and disclosure of all personal information in verbal, hard copy and electronic formats in accordance with provincial and federal government legislation, including the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA), the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and Personal Information Protection and Electronic documents Act (PIPEDA). The information we collect is used to:

  • Ensure we can contact you
  • Maintain accountability as a service provider
  • Ensure safety, legal and ethical standards are met
  • Assess the quality of services provided and the effectiveness of outcomes
  • All clinical files and data are the sole property of FSO-SFO and are stored in a secure location or on a secure server. Any questions or concerns can be addressed directly to the Privacy Officer.

Family Services Ottawa is the sole owner of the information collected on this site. FSO only has access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. FSO will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new services, or changes to this privacy policy.

For questions related to the collection, use, and disclosure of information, please contact the Privacy Officer at 613-725-3601 or privacy@familyservicesottawa.org

Confidentiality Policy

All notes, records and communications created by Family Services Ottawa during your involvement as a client are kept secure and confidential and can be shared only with your consent. The organization keeps a record of all appointments/visits. Information may be shared within FSO for case management, quality assurance and eligibility purposes. Any information about a client is kept within the organization in strictest confidence.

There are a few exceptions to confidentiality when the law requires that our records be disclosed under strict conditions. In the following situations the law requires that reports be made and/or information released:

  • Suspected child abuse
  • Any life-threatening danger to a client or to a third party (threat of suicide, threat towards others)
  • Court orders and subpoenas


At Family Services Ottawa we are committed to ensuring that our programs and services are accessible to people with physical and mental disabilities. Wherever possible, we have
implemented measures to identify and remove barriers with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures, premises and property.

Accessibility Policy

For a copy of our policy on accessibility standards click here

Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

Download our FSO Multi-Year Accessibility Plan 2023 here.

If you require any of these documents in a different format, please call 613-725-3601 or email info@familyservicesottawa.org


FSO welcomes your comments. Your feedback supports continual improvement in our delivery of accessible and inclusive customer service. To provide feedback about accessibility at FSO you
may do so by contacting us at 613-725-3601, in person or via email to info@familyservicesottawa.org