What You Need to Know About Coming to Boost CYAC
Giving kids a lift
when they need it most
We believe that all children and youth have a right to grow up in a safe, healthy and nurturing environment.
We support children, youth and families through a variety of programs and services. Below is some information that you may find helpful if you are new to Boost CYAC.
How to Access Our Services
All of our services for children, youth and families are free of charge. We are funded by the City of Toronto, the Provincial and Federal Governments and a variety of private donors/funders.
Some of our services have a wait list. Our Intake Worker will work with you to determine what services are most appropriate for your family. They will also give you information about other helpful services that may be available.
Our Service Philosophy
Boost CYAC offers a range of services to children, youth, families and community organizations that are seeking children’s mental health services. Services are flexible and include the continuum of prevention, early intervention, consultation, advocacy/court support and treatment. A key factor in successful outcomes is a clearly accepted philosophy of service shared by all staff. How we provide service is based on the following beliefs and assumptions:
- families want what is best for their child(ren);
- families, children, youth and staff have unique values, beliefs and perspectives to contribute;
- the importance of respectful collaboration when providing service and in developing and evaluating Boost CYAC services;
- we respect and seek to understand the impact of diversity, in all of its forms, e.g. race, national or ethnic ancestry, place of origin, religion, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, marital status, family status, physical disability or language;
- all individuals have strengths and competencies to use and develop;
- assessment and treatment interventions and services will be informed by trauma informed services that are evidence-based/informed practices; and
- we respect the rights of persons served to make decisions about service or support, including the right to refuse or discontinue service or support.
Privacy & Confidentiality
Personal information is collected to help us plan together for services that will best meet your needs. We only collect personal information relating to the services we provide to you.
All Boost CYAC employees, students, and volunteers must sign a confidentiality agreement prior to their involvement with the agency, and are expected to follow this agreement. Your personal information is considered highly confidential and is shared with other professional individuals or organizations only with your written permission. Exceptions to this policy occur if:
- we receive a court subpoena/search warrant to share information;
- there is a threat of harm to you, your child, or others; or
- there is concern that your child may be or has been abused (and it has not yet been reported).
Your Rights & Responsibilities
You can expect Boost CYAC staff to:
- treat you with respect and understanding.
- tell you about your rights before the start of services.
- tell you about the services you are being offered and will be receiving.
- respond to your initial call within three (3) business days.
- conduct your intake by phone and/or in person and tell you of the next steps in the process. If there is a wait list, we will tell you of the expected waiting period for services. If appropriate, we will help with referrals to other services.
- offer you and your family services in a culturally sensitive manner.
- provide a safe, secure and accessible service environment, where your needs are accommodated.
- listen to your concerns and work with you to help address your family’s needs.
- let you know in ahead of time when we need to cancel an appointment and, whenever possible, provide at least twenty four (24) hours’ notice before the appointment.
- respond to feedback and complaints in a timely manner, according to our policies.
We expect you to:
- keep scheduled appointments or cancel at least 24 hours in advance, whenever possible.
- participate in the planning process to determine the services your family would benefit from.
- let your worker know if you intend to end services and try to plan this with them ahead of time
- let us know if your phone number or address changes.
- ask for clarification with respect to services and/or procedures if you do not understand something.
- be respectful of Boost CYAC and staff members.
- let Boost CYAC staff know about any ongoing medical and/or other conditions/information that may impact the delivery of services.
The Benefits & Risks of Services
Depending on the program and services you are connected with, we will work with you to:
- identify and achieve goals.
- gain a better understanding of the impact of this experience.
- strengthen your ability to support your child and advocate on their behalf
- connect with other community services that may be helpful for you and your family.
- learn and practice helpful coping strategies that may work for you and your family.
- navigate complex and at time confusing systems (e.g., child protection system, criminal justice system)
We understand that there may be certain risks or concerns to participating in our services, such as:
- being reminded of difficult experiences.
- other parties accessing your clients records through legal means (e.g., criminal court, family court) without client consent.
- feeling judged, criticized and unheard.
- symptoms potentially worsening before they get better.
- others viewing your family differently because you are receiving services.
Please discuss any concerns you may have with your worker. This is a partnership, and we want to ensure that your participation in our programs meets your needs.
We will respect your opinions, views and cultural and spiritual beliefs when setting goals and planning ways to achieve those goals.
We are committed to providing services that are respectful of racial, cultural, religious, ethnic and linguistic diversity, sexual orientation, age, gender and family differences.
Emailing & Texting Boost CYAC Staff
The majority of our direct work with clients is accomplished through telephone and/or face-to-face meetings. Boost CYAC appreciates that at times and for various reasons, emailing or texting (“electronic communication”) is preferred. While electronic communication is not secure, we recognize that in some situations, it is the only method of engaging with some clients.
Boost CYAC has policies and procedures in place to minimize risk to staff and clients, to increase clients’ understanding of the risks realted to electronic communication and to establish the process that is to be followed if electronic communication is to be used. Although we have protections in place to increase the privacy of electronic communications, it remains possible that:
- electronic communications may be sent but not received;
- messages are filtered as “spam” or “junk”; or that
- confidentiality may be breached (e.g., the communication is intercepted by a party not intended to receive it or there is an error in entering the address/telephone number).
If electronic communication is preferred, clients must read and sign the Consent to Electronic Communication Form. In this document, the client acknowledges their understanding that email and text messages are not secure methods of communication and that Boost CYAC cannot be held responsible for any incorrect use or disclosure of information shared in this way. The form also notes that exceptions to confidentiality, including instances in which the employee has a duty to report to a child protection agency, apply to all communications and will be reviewed with the client before beginning electronic communication.
Accessing Your Records
An individual (or someone authorized to act on their behalf) has the right to request access to and correction of their record of personal health information. If you would like to see or correct a record, please contact your worker or the Boost CYAC Privacy Officer (416-515-1100, ext. 59225). We will do our best to fulfill your request within thirty (30) business days or otherwise tell you as to an alternative timeline. To ensure our clients’ best interests are upheld, Boost CYAC assesses requests to access client records on a case-by-case basis. Talk to your worker if you have any questions or concerns about this process.
As an agency that is currently being accredited, we undergo regular evaluations and personnel from the reviewing agency will need access to our records. Reviewers sign confidentiality agreements and do not remove any information from the agency or disclose anything.
Making a Complaint
We will take all concerns and issues you raise seriously, and will do our best to address them as quickly as possible. You and your child are encouraged to express and resolve concerns or issues about services with your worker.
If you believe that your concerns have not been adequately addressed with your worker, you can speak to the Program Manager or Director, the Director of Operations, the President & CEO, and if required, the Board of Directors.
If you wish to make a formal complaint in writing, complete the Client & Community Complaint Form and return it to us:
- in person or by mail at: 245 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 200, Toronto ON M4P 3B7;
- by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or
- by fax: 416-515-1227.
When you and/or your family have finished receiving services, you will be asked to answer some questions about the service you received and your experience at Boost CYAC. Your feedback helps us to evaluate and improve our work with children, youth and families.