The Centre for Autism Services Alberta’s Code of Ethics represents the values and principles that guide the conduct and practice of its representatives and employees. The onus for ethical conduct is always on the service provider. All representatives of the Centre for Autism Services Alberta publicly acknowledge their commitment to the Code of Ethics.
For regulated Health Professionals, it is their responsibility to abide by the codes of ethics set forth by their professional colleges in addition to the code set forth by the Centre.
This Code is based on the following organizational values:
We believe in our mission and use it as a guide for developing and conducting services.
We believe open, honest communication between families and their service team is integral to ensuring the best possible services for each child.
We believe a supportive environment fosters positive growth in a child and assists the entire family.
We believe visionary and responsible leadership ensures that our services are based on evidence based research as we continually look for the best ways to help children with autism and their families.
We believe innovation is vital, however we recognize the importance of responsible risk-taking and the boundaries that this requires.
We believe in commitment and loyalty to the children we serve and their families. We are dedicated to providing services and care that are best for your child’s growth while respecting your family’s values.
We believe in equality and vow not to discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religious beliefs, country of origin, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, physical disability or mental disability.
We believe mentorship among staff and families contributes to a child’s success.
We believe collaboration is essential among team members, families, caregivers and community members as it supports a well-rounded approach to a child’s program.
We believe in accountability. Centre staff must be responsible for the care and support provided to a child. As well, family members must also be accountable by ensuring they participate as required to help their child reach his or her full potential.
We believe in life-long learning and thus staff will ensure they have the necessary training and education to deliver services, including upgrading as required.
We believe that each child with autism is unique. Due to autism’s wide spectrum, each child’s programming or intervention is best served through needs-based services.
Duty of Care
Centre representatives are required to provide a reasonable standard of care, based upon agency standards and common expectations for the delivery of services.
Centre representatives will provide a safe working environment for children and their families.
Centre representatives will provide sustainable, family-focused services that reflect best practices and are transparent to all stakeholders.
Centre representatives will recognize and respect individuals as unique and valuable, and recognize the potential of each child and family.
Centre representatives will maintain high standards of competence, indicated by reviewing practice and participation in continued professional development in line with best practices.
Centre representatives will provide services only in area of competence.
In no case should Centre representatives engage in a sexual/romantic relationship with those in their professional care, nor will they accept someone with whom they have previously had a sexual/romantic relationship to be in their professional care.
The service provider is responsible for ensuring that relationships with children and their families are conducted ethically because, regardless of a child or family member’s behavior, the onus for ethical conduct is always on the service provider.
Duty to Respect Privacy
Centre representatives are not entitled to intrude on the privacy of another, under normal circumstances. Privacy includes an individual’s thoughts, physical possessions and person.
When performing personal care duties, Centre representatives will use age-appropriate privacy-maintaining methods.
Centre representatives will only collect information clearly required by the relationship with the individual.
Duty to Maintain Confidentiality
In the spirit of a collaborative treatment approach, information must be shared between team members and Centre staff as necessary. If a child receives specialized services with funding from Family Supports for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) families are to be made aware that verbal and written information regarding their child (including assessment reports) will be shared with FSCD as per the terms of our contract.
Other than the above noted disclosures, all information collected will be kept confidential. Information will not be shared with external third parties unless one of the following conditions is satisfied:
• Written or verbal consent is provided by the parent/guardian to release the information to an identifiable third party.
• There is concern about potential harm to an identifiable third party or persons served. In these cases, there is a responsibility to intervene for safety reasons.
• There is suspected emotional, physical, or sexual abuse of a minor. Alberta law requires mandatory reporting of these instances to the proper authorities.
• The files are subpoenaed by a Court of Law.
Centre representatives are entitled to agency protection of their rights to confidentiality of information, regardless of how that information is conveyed to the agency or its staff.
Duty to Inform
Staff members of the Centre are obligated to provide families with accurate and complete information regarding the nature of services including critical program details, such as the cost, length, key policies and procedures, potential risks, and staff qualifications. There is also an obligation to inform clients about alternate services as appropriate.
Duty to Report
Should Centre representatives become aware of any illegal activity they have a legal obligation to report the behavior to the appropriate supervisor and the Executive Director, and, based on their consultation, the behavior may be reported to the appropriate authorities. The Centre representative must ensure that all steps taken are documented in a Critical Incident Report that will be kept on file in the agency offices and in the persons served record when the activity involves a child or family.
Duty to Warn
Threats or intentions expressed by persons served, staff members, or volunteers to harm others or themselves, or to commit a serious crime, should be evaluated by the Centre representative involved and discussed with a supervisor prior to the potential disclosure of confidential information. If, upon further review, it is deemed necessary to disclose confidential information to prevent the threats or intentions from being acted upon, then the Centre representative has a duty to report these threats to the police, the individual’s case worker or supervisor and any intended victims. The Centre representative reporting the incident must ensure that all steps taken are documented in a Critical Incident Report that will be kept on file in the agency offices and in the persons served record when the activity involves a child or family.