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LFS Privacy Policy

Lethbridge Family Services (LFS) is committed to safeguarding the personal information entrusted to the Agency by our clients, staff and volunteers. The Agency manages your personal information in accordance with Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act and other applicable laws. This policy outlines the principles and practices the Agency follows in protecting your personal information.
This policy applies to Lethbridge Family Services and to any person providing services on our behalf. A copy of this policy is provided to any client on request.
What is personal information?
Personal information means information about an identifiable individual. This includes an individual’s name, home address and phone number, age, sex, marital or family status, social insurance number, financial information, educational history, etc.
What personal information do we collect?
Lethbridge Family Services collects only the personal information that is needed for the purposes of providing services to clients, including personal information needed to:
·       deliver requested services
·       enroll a client in a program
·       send out newsletters and other agency information
The Agency normally collects a client’s personal information directly from the client. We may collect your information from other persons with your consent or as authorized by law.
The Agency informs clients, before or at the time of collecting personal information, of the purposes for which the Agency is collecting the information. The only time we do not provide this notification is when a client volunteers information for an obvious purpose (for example, for home services visits).
Lethbridge Family Services asks for consent to collect, use or disclose a client’s personal information, except in specific circumstances where collection, use or disclosure without consent is authorized or required by law. The Agency may assume your consent in cases where you volunteer information for an obvious purpose. We
assume your consent to continue to use and, where applicable, disclose personal information that we may have already collected, for the purpose for which the information was collected.

The Agency asks for your express consent for some purposes and may not be able to provide certain services if you are unwilling to provide consent to the collection, use or disclosure of certain personal information. Where express consent is needed, we will normally ask clients to provide their consent in writing by signing a consent form.
A client may withdraw consent to the use and disclosure of personal information at any time, unless the personal information is necessary for the Agency to fulfil legal obligations. We will respect your decision, but may not be able to provide you with services if we do not have the necessary personal information.
The Agency may collect, use or disclose client personal information without consent only as authorized by law. For example, the Agency may not request consent when the collection, use or disclosure is reasonable for an investigation or legal proceeding, or in an emergency that threatens life, health or safety.
How do we use and disclose personal information?
The Agency uses and discloses client personal information only for the purpose for which the information was collected, except as authorized by law. For example, the Agency may use client contact information to provide services to the client.
If the Agency wishes to use or disclose your personal information for any new business purpose, we will ask for your consent. We may not seek consent if the law allows this.
What is personal employee information?
Personal employee information is personal information about an employee, or volunteer which is collected, used or disclosed solely for the purposes of establishing, managing or terminating an employment relationship or a volunteer work relationship. Personal employee information may, in some circumstances, include a social insurance number,a performance review, etc.
The Agency can collect, use or disclose personal employee information without your consent only for the purpose of establishing, managing or ending the employment or volunteer relationship. We will provide current employees and volunteers with prior notice about what information may be collected, used or disclosed and the purpose for doing so.
What personal employee information do we collect, use or disclose?
The Agency collects, uses and discloses personal employee information to meet the following purposes:

We only collect, use and disclose the amount and type of personal employee information that is reasonable to meet the above purposes. The following is a list of personal employee information that the Agency may collect, use and disclose to meet these purposes.
We will inform employees and volunteers of any new purpose for which the Agency will collect, use or disclose personal employee information, or we will obtain your consent, before or at the time the information is collected.
We will obtain your consent to collect, use and disclose your personal information for purposes unrelated to the employment or volunteer relationship.
What information does LFS provide for employment/volunteer references?
In some cases, after your employment or volunteer relationship with the Agency ends, we will be contacted by other organizations and asked to provide a reference for you.  It is the Agency’s policy not to disclose personal information about employees and volunteers to other organizations who request references without consent. The personal information the Agency normally provides in a reference includes:
How do we safeguard personal information?
The Agency makes every reasonable effort to ensure that personal information is accurate and complete. The Agency relies on individuals to notify us if there is a change to their personal information that may affect their relationship with our organization. If you are aware of an error in our information about you, please inform us and the correction will be made on request wherever possible. In some cases we may ask for a written request for correction.
We protect personal information in a manner appropriate for the sensitivity of the information. The Agency makes every reasonable effort to prevent any loss, misuse, disclosure or modification of personal information, as well as any unauthorized access to personal information.
We use appropriate security measures when destroying personal information, including shredding paper records and permanently deleting electronic records.
The Agency retains personal information only as long as is reasonable to fulfil the purposes for which the information was collected or for legal or business purposes.
Access to records containing personal information
Individuals have a right to access their own personal information in a record that is in the custody or under the control of Lethbridge Family Services subject to some exceptions. For example, organizations are required under the Personal Information Protection Act to refuse to provide access to information that would reveal personal information about another individual.
If we refuse a request in whole or in part, we will provide the reasons for the refusal. In some cases where exceptions to access apply, we may withhold that information and provide you with the remainder of the record.
You may make a request for access to your personal information by writing to your Human Resources Director. You must provide sufficient information in your request that allows us to identify the information you are seeking.
You may also request information about the Agency’s use of your personal information and any disclosure of that information to persons outside the Agency. In addition, you may request a correction of an error or omission in your personal information.
We will respond to your request within 30 calendar days, unless an extension is granted. The Agency may charge a reasonable fee to provide information, but not to make a correction. We do not charge fees when the request is for personal employee information. We will advise you of any fees that may apply before beginning to process your request.
Questions and complaints
If you have a question or concern about any collection, use or disclosure of personal information by Lethbridge Family Services, or about a request for access to your own personal information, please contact Lanie Fisher, Director Human Resources.
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you should contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta:
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta
Suite 2460, 801 - 6 Avenue, SW
Calgary, Alberta  T2P 3W2
Phone: 403-297-2728             Toll Free: 1-888-878-4044
Email: generalinfo@oipc.ab.ca              Website: www.oipc.ab.ca

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