Our Commitments



Counselling and Family Service 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.

Acts of discrimination and oppression are not tolerated by this agency and immediate steps will be taken to address any and all allegations of discrimination and oppression.

Client Rights

All Counselling and Family Service clients have the following rights:

  • To be treated honestly, with respect and dignity, and without discrimination, at all times;
  • To receive services in a professional manner;
  • To receive information about the Agency’s fee schedule at the start of service;
  • To have their personal information kept private (except in cases where the law requires its release);
  • To a safe and secure service environment;
  • To raise issues of concern about the agency, services rendered, or experience;
  • To be made aware of all significant policies and procedures related to the service they receive;
  • To give informed consent for all services they receive;
  • To know the contents of their case file(s) and to add to the record to correct inaccuracies;
  • To have access to services regardless of their ability.

Client Responsibilities

All Counselling and Family Service clients have the following responsibilities:

  • To participate to their fullest potential in the services provided;
  • To treat all staff, volunteers, other clients and property with respect and free of discrimination, harassment and/or violence;
  • To pay any fees for service as due;
  • To attend as scheduled and to provide sufficient notice should they be unable to attend an appointment;
  • To hold in confidence any information they learn regarding other individuals while receiving services with Counselling and Family Service Ottawa.

Complaints or Concerns

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

Clients have the right to raise issues of concern about their counselling experience, services received, or any decisions made, by contacting their worker to address the situation. If the problem isn’t resolved or the client is not satisfied, the client is referred to the worker’s supervisor.

The complaints that couldn’t be settled at the first or second level are sent to the Executive Director

If the Executive Director cannot resolve the complaint, it will be escalated to the Chair of the Board.

If the complaint is about the Executive Director, the complaint will go directly to the Chair of the Board and bi-pass the usual process.

This is the last step of complaint resolution. The client will be kept informed about the evolution of their complaint at every level.


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

CFS adheres strictly to the current legislation governing personal privacy (Personal Health Information Protection Act). 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 CFS-SFC and are stored in a secure location or on a secure server. Any questions or concerns can be addressed to the organization.

CFS is the sole owner of the information collected on this site. CFS only has access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. CFS 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.


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