We are able to provide in person services and are following guidelines and recommendations provided by local and provincial governments. Our office is a shared space with other therapists conducting their own practice and RESTORE Counselling and Family Services is implementing the following modifications:
including sanitizing before and after each client,
requesting social distancing measures in office and/or wearing personal protective equipment
limiting clients in the waiting room by asking you to wait downstairs or in your vehicle until your appointment time or your therapist calls you up for your appointment
providing virtual sessions where appropriate
requesting that you cancel/ reschedule or request a virtual session if you are feeling unwell, have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19 and have not completed isolation guidelines as set out by provincial and/or local governments, or if you should be isolating.
requesting clients complete a self assessment test provided by the Ontario government.
posting common COVID-19 symptoms and social distancing reminders on the door
asking that companions not engaged in services wait outside of the office
offering contactless payment services
Please be aware that the circumstances and directions related to COVID-19 are evolving and changing and therefore, we ask for your patience as we adjust our services to align with best practices and regulations.
Please scroll down to read more on our responsibility regarding sharing of personal information related to COVID-19
Below you will find guidelines of my policies and procedures to ensure a high professional standard, many of which, are in alignment with the College of Social Work guidelines, Code of Ethics and laws pertaining to my professional responsibilities and your personal and private information. Scroll down further, for a summary of fees/cancellation policies and practices that may be helpful to review.
Here are some key guidelines, of which, I am bound to follow, in accordance with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) Code of Ethics:
A social worker or social service worker shall maintain the best interest of the client as the primary professional obligation;
A social worker or social service worker shall carry out her or his professional duties and obligations with integrity and objectivity;
A social worker or social service worker shall have and maintain competence in the provision of a social work or social service work service to a client;
A social worker or social service worker shall not exploit the relationship with a client for personal benefit, gain or gratification;
A social worker or social service worker shall protect the confidentiality of all professionally acquired information. He or she shall disclose such information only when required or allowed by law to do so, or when clients have consented to disclosure;
A social worker or social service worker shall promote excellence in his or her respective profession;
Gathering of Personal Information:
During the course of service, I gather information to enable identifying and delivering relevant services and supports. I use written and electronic formats for this purpose. As part of my practice, I often gather information, directly from the client, however, I habitually collect personal information from other service providers and professionals whom have been involved in your care. This is done with your written permission, using an internal Consent to Release Information Form, or when necessary, a Consent to Disclose Personal Health Information form as required under the Personal Health and Information Privacy Act (PHIPA).
I maintain confidentiality of your information, including personal identifying information, the type of service and details gathered during the course of service. However there are legally binding limits to confidentiality, including:
In an urgent situation to prevent harm to yourself or others
Under the Duty to Report, of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act (2017), to report any suspected child abuse or neglect
Complying with an Order of the Court
Mandatory reporting of a regulated health professional who has engaged in sexual abuse of a client
Compliance with OCSWSSW regulations whom conducts random audits, to ensure maintenance of professional standards, in the public interest
Compliance with insurance companies, EAP services or other payers of service to fulfill their requirements related to your entitlement to services rendered. These sometimes include random audits of submissions for payment by you.
GIVEN COVID-19, PLEASE BE AWARE THAT IF THERE IS A POSITIVE COVID-19 CASE IN OUR OFFICE, YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION WILL BE SHARED WITH RELEVANT HEALTH OFFICIALS FOR THE PURPOSES OF CONTACT TRACING AND MITIGATING SPREAD.
If you are engaged in Family Reunification Therapy, please refer to the Informed Consent Form, provided to you or your counsel, for specific limitations which are sometimes imposed by the court. As well, by virtue of the type of service, there are often limits to confidentiality as often, reports are requested by involved parties, the court or legal counsel of the parties engaged in this service. I endeavour to ensure only the most relevant information is shared.
Electronic Provision of Services:
I offer virtual services using a platform which meets privacy regulations, governed under PHIPA and PIPEDA. I also utilize VPN technology and provide a unique password for each session. Despite undertaking these precautions, electronic provision of services may be susceptible to security breaches. As well, it is the responsibility of the client to ensure that they are in a location to receive the virtual session which offers them confidentiality. It is important to remember that use of an employer provided device is subject to the employers policies regarding an employees use and may limit your confidentiality.
I am required to keep records of my services for a minimum period of 7 years and are the property of my practice. You are able to access your own personal record, however, your explicit written consent would be required for me to share information or your record with any other professional or person.
If you are engaged in family therapy, the consent of all parties would be required in order to release the full record, in the absence of this, only records for which I have written consent, shall be released, other information including identifying information will be redacted from the record. Sometimes given the nature of the service, and without express written consent of all parties, the record will be severely limited.
Children, if they are competent and of age to consent to their own service, shall also be required to give consent to release of their own record. Custodial parents/guardians may not access their child’s records.
Terms of Service:
Please provide a notice of 48 hours, if you are unable to attend a scheduled appointment. In the absence of this notice, you will be billed for the missed appointment at the full rate.
If you are engaging in Family Reunification Therapy, please refer to the agreement provided to you, which outlines specific terms related to a cancelled appointment.
If you are engaging in a co-parenting group, there are no refunds without 14 days cancellation notice.
Termination of Service
At times the therapeutic relationship may be terminated by you or by me. There are varying reasons that this may happen, including a lack of financial resources, difficulty committing to the therapy, incompatibility between the client and therapist, to name a few. You have the right to end the therapy at any time. You are encouraged to share your reasons for terminating services, so that you may be provided with other resources which may help you on your journey. Sometimes, during the course of service, issues or concerns arise or are identified which are beyond the scope of my practice or expertise and it may be necessary to refer you to a professional that will be better suited to meet your needs.
Please contact me by phone or email for information regarding fees. Payments are accepted in cash or email transfer. Cash payments are accepted at the end of the appointment and email transfers are to be paid prior to the start of the session. Receipts are provided.
Health Service Provider Coverage
Services provided by Registered Social Workers (RSW) are not covered by OHIP, however, many health benefits or insurance plans cover these services. It is advisable to confirm your coverage for you or your family, including benefit maximums, annually or otherwise. There is no direct billing, you are expected to pay for the session and then submit the receipt to your insurance/benefit carrier.