Ethics & Confidentiality
Our Confidentiality Policy is built around our organisational core value of respect for the individual, covering the rights of clients, the conduct of staff members, Portage’s conduct toward its personnel, and the commitment of our Board of Directors.
In developing and updating its Confidentiality Policy, Portage drew inspiration from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, and more than 40 years of experience working with people with drug addiction problems and their families.
Portage’s Confidentiality Policy covers:
- the commitment of members of the Board of Directors;
- the rights of residents;
- the conduct of all staff members;
- Portage’s conduct toward its personnel.
All Portage residents and staff members have the right to confidentiality of personal information. To ensure confidentiality:
- Directors have an obligation to keep information concerning the Board, employees, and residents confidential;
- Portage does not disclose any confidential information about residents or staff members, unless explicitly required to do so by law;
- Therapeutic, support, and administrative staff members and volunteers do not disclose any information concerning a resident’s case, including their treatment, behaviour, or presence at Portage.
Therapeutic, support, and administrative staff members must sign a Confidentiality Agreement when they are hired in order to confirm their acceptance of the Confidentiality Policy.
Commitment of the Members of Portage's Board of Directors
The members of Portage’s Board of Directors support and advise Portage management with respect to attaining the organisation’s objectives of service quality and accessibility, in keeping with its mission and approach, and in compliance with its policies.
More specifically, each board member makes the commitment to make use of their skills and experience for the benefit of the organisation and its clientele by:
- acting responsibly and with integrity at all times;
- demonstrating loyalty to the organisation and making use of their sphere of influence in order to help Portage achieve its objectives;
- remaining objective and discouraging any favouritism toward Portage staff members or residents;
- avoiding any behaviour that might adversely affect the organisation’s credibility, integrity, or reputation;
- promptly reporting any real or potential conflict of interest;
- ensuring that Portage’s techniques and environment comply with therapeutic community best practices, the law, and general social morals;
- not offering gifts to or accepting gifts from staff members, residents, or their families.
Portage believes that every resident has rights, regardless of his or her history of drug abuse, social status, age, gender, religion, race, or cultural background. In order to ensure that residents are aware of their rights, they receive a copy of the Resident’s Manual upon admission to Portage.
Portage ensures that these rights are recognised and respected by all therapeutic, support, and administrative personnel. Every resident has a right to:
- receive an accurate and rigorous assessment of their condition;
- be informed of the treatment plan that is established within the program or service, the goals, the nature, the duration, the cost, if applicable, and the restrictions and limitations that are attached to the proposed rehabilitation plan;
- participate in the development of their treatment plan, and any subsequent changes that may be required to it;
- receive the services described in the Resident’s Manual and the organisation plan;
- not to be taken advantage of or unduly restricted at Portage;
access their file, upon request, and request a review in the event of disagreement;
- file complaints pertaining to the services that they receive or their treatment plan, and to be informed of how to proceed and whom to address.
- outside communications;
- a minimum level of privacy and personal belongings, in keeping with the rules that are described in the Resident’s Manual;
- receive the essential dental and medical care that is required in order to ensure good health;
- participate in recreational activities or sports events that are organised as part of community activities;
- pursue their secondary school education at Portage Academy, if there is one on the premises;
- their own religious practices;
- terminate their treatment program and leave the centre voluntarily.
In order to protect the integrity and welfare of its clientele, Portage ensures that all therapeutic, support, and administrative personnel conduct themselves as professionals at all times when dealing with residents and their families. All personnel must:
- treat residents as valued individuals, with respect and dignity;
- endeavour to pursue the goals of the organisation;
- remain objective, and discourage any form of favouritism toward residents, staff members, volunteers, or interns;
- avoid any behaviour that is likely to cause another staff member or a resident to become verbally or physically violent;
- refrain from engaging in any non-professional relations (emotional, sexual, or financial) with residents while they are in therapy, and for a period of two years following the end of any treatment program at Portage;
- refrain from any abusive or degrading behaviour;
- consult their immediate superior when personal contacts seem likely to become detrimental to a resident’s well-being;
- refrain from offering gifts to or accepting gifts any from residents or their families;
- avoid any personal or professional behaviour that may be detrimental to the well-being of residents.
Portage's Conduct Towards its Personnel
Since its inception, one of the keys to Portage’s success has been the high level of commitment and dedication shown by its personnel. In order to ensure an environment of mutual respect, the organisation acts in such a way that all staff members, volunteers, and interns are:
- informed of the working conditions and responsibilities that are associated with their employment and position, before they are hired;
- informed of the existence of Portage’s Policy respecting Ethics and Confidentiality and their obligation to comply with it;
- informed by their supervisor of the rules and procedures that governs their work.
All staff members have a the right to:
- consult their personnel file, and request a review in the event of disagreement;
- have their complaints handled diligently;
- be treated with respect in the matter of their personal spiritual beliefs.
Portage encourages continuing education and training as a means of developing and acquiring new knowledge and competencies. The organisation sees this as a concrete means of contributing to the development of the individual potential and the professional growth of its personnel.