Terms of service and web applications use
Last Update: November 29, 2021
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This page outlines the Terms under which we (Kids Help Phone) provide you with services when you engage with us — whether by phone, text, web app, mobile app, or by using our website.
Our relationship with you
If you’re in danger or need emergency help, contact 911 or the emergency services in your area. If you are experiencing long-term issues, or symptoms related to your mental, physical or emotional health, consult a medical professional. Kids Help Phone does not establish a doctor-patient relationship, a therapist-client relationship, a therapist-patient relationship, or a lawyer-client relationship with service users. Our services are not a substitute for professional health or mental health care.
Who are Kids Help Phone’s services for?
Our services are intended for people in Canada. Some of our services are delivered by professional staff and volunteers who have been trained to support in crisis situations. Kids Help Phone does not provide medical services or medical support.
What services does Kids Help Phone offer?
Our services include the following:
Kids Help Phone services
- Resources Around Me
- Kids Help Phone Insights
- Kip navigational chatbot
- Peer-to-Peer Community
- Crisis response:
Kids Help Phone partnered services
We are non-judgmental and inclusive, supporting all youth with whatever issues they’re facing.
Which languages can Kids Help Phone offer support in?
We provide all services in English and French. Phone counselling is also available in Arabic through an interpreter.
When are our services available?
Our services are available 24/7. Kids Help Phone will deny services if users behave abusively.
How can people access our services?
You can access our services through the following interfaces:
- Phone calls
- Live Chat via our website (KidsHelpPhone.ca or JeunesseJecoute.ca)
Crisis response service
- Text messaging (SMS) from mobile devices
- Facebook Messenger
What happens to the information you give us?
Information you provide to us is used to provide you with counselling services, answers to general questions and crisis response services. As well, the data will be used for monitoring system performance, analytics and for training purposes.
We keep the information you have chosen to share with our counsellors confidential. This service is anonymous and does not have access to your phone number.
Answers to general questions
Our staff respond to various queries about Kids Help Phone through our Contact Us form.
Crisis response service
We keep the information you have chosen to share with our crisis responders confidential. This service has access to your mobile phone number.
We use call recordings for internal training and educational purposes.
Performance monitoring and quality assurance
We will use data you provide to us for performance monitoring, quality assurance and improving the quality of our service to you.
Terms of Service for Kids Help Phone services
By using Kids Help Phone’s services, you agree to the following terms:
- These are non-emergency services. This means that they may not always be available. It is possible that our systems may be backlogged or our online services may be unavailable due to maintenance, which would mean you may not be able to access a service.
- Service users must respect the dignity of our staff, and not abuse or insult them.
- Kids Help Phone will not ask you for your name or other identifying information before providing services. This means that if you contact us more than once, different staff members may respond to you, and they won’t have access to the information you’ve already given in the past.
- You may contact us whenever you need us. However, you won’t always be able to talk/text/chat with the same person, and you won’t be able to request a particular person to talk with; nor can you request to talk to someone of a particular gender, ethnic background, or experience.
- You acknowledge that your conversation with Kids Help Phone is confidential. Kids Help Phone staff and volunteers will make notes of their conversation with you — to ensure quality and to use for training purposes within Kids Help Phone — but these notes will not include your name. Audio conversations will be recorded, for the same purpose.
- Kids Help Phone services are only for individuals. Attempts to send automated messages to Kids Help Phone are unacceptable. The use of our technologies must comply with the Kids Help Phone IT Policy. Hacking, phishing, or any denial of service attacks will not be tolerated.
Breaking any of the Terms listed above may mean that you can no longer use Kids Help Phone services: see “Disruption and Prohibited Uses,” below.
These Terms of Service may change whenever we add new tools or services, or if the technology or processes change.
Terms of Service for partnered services
To receive Kids Help Phone services via our website, you may be redirected to online tools such as Facebook Messenger, Amazon AWS, Twilio, Sisense, Crisis Text Line, and Good2Talk. Some of these online tools have their own Terms of Service:
- Facebook Messenger has its own Terms of Service as well as Terms of Service specific to the Facebook platform.
- Amazon AWS has its own Terms of Service.
- Twilio has its own Terms of Service.
- Sisense has its own Terms of Service.
It is important to note that any data travelling between Facebook, Twilio, Sisense, and Kids Help Phone will be retained by Facebook, in accordance with their Terms of Service. If you have any related issues or complaints, please direct them towards Facebook.
Information extracted from all of the above platforms can’t be erased by Kids Help Phone.
While the Terms of Service listed above create obligations for Kids Help Phone, you as a user may be impacted indirectly. The Terms of Service of each platform may allow them (or their partners) to collect, retain, use, disclose, and analyze information about you. The breadth and depth of data involved can’t be controlled by Kids Help Phone.
Duty to report / duty of care
It is the legal and ethical duty for our staff communicating with you through our various services not to reveal information about you to unauthorized individuals. However, there are legal obligations that we need to meet. For example, we may be required to disclose your telephone number and other identifying information, if we have it, to a local child welfare agency (this is called the “duty to report”) or, less commonly, to emergency services, if we think that you or others may be in danger (this is called the “duty of care”).
We have a duty to report in the following cases:
- If you tell us that a child is or may be in need of protection; or
- If you tell us that someone is hurting you, has hurt you, or is likely to hurt you in the future; or
- If you tell us you are planning to hurt yourself or someone else.
If we believe that you may be in danger, and have not been able to create a safety plan with you, we have a duty of care to begin a referral to emergency services. We will let you know that we believe you are in danger and we will have a discussion with you about what will happen next with the referral. Referrals to emergency services — the RCMP, paramedics or local police services — may also involve various telecommunications companies such as Bell Canada or the Facebook Law Enforcement team.
Data retention: Identifying information from Emergency Referrals is kept as long as legislation requires it. Reports are documented and saved for 7 years from the date of the report.
You assume all risk for your use of our services. Neither Kids Help Phone nor any of our employees, volunteers, agents, service providers, or any other entities with whom Kids Help Phone has contracted will have any liability for:
- actions taken by you or a third party, or not taken by you or a third party; or
- the unavailability of the service.
You agree that you will not hold Kids Help Phone liable (in Legal Speak, you indemnify us) for damages, losses, or costs associated with any legal issues you incur for:
- your use of the service;
- your breach of these Terms;
- your violation of the law;
- claims asserted by third parties that you are in breach of these Terms; or
- information provided by you through Kids Help Phone.
This means that under no circumstances will Kids Help Phone be liable for any special, incidental, consequential, exemplary, or indirect damages.
Quality of service
Kids Help Phone strives to provide the best quality of service to the people who use our services. However, we cannot guarantee that our services will:
- meet your requirements or expectations; or
- be uninterrupted, timely, secure or error-free.
In Legal Speak, Kids Help Phone will not be liable for any or all damages or injury, including those caused by any failure of performance, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission, whether for breach of contract, tortious behaviour, including negligence, or any other cause of action.
Respect and dignity
You agree to use our services only for lawful and legitimate purposes, and in accordance with these Terms. You agree not to threaten, harass, or otherwise abuse Kids Help Phone, its employees, volunteers, partners, agents, subcontractors, or others. Such behaviour will result in you being denied access to our services.
Disruption & prohibited uses
Kids Help Phone will not tolerate, and can report to the authorities, including the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, anyone who attempts to use its services:
- in any way that violates any applicable federal, provincial, local, and international law or regulation;
- for the purpose of exploiting, harming, or attempting to exploit or harm minors in any way by exposing them to inappropriate content, asking for personal information, or otherwise;
- to threaten, harass, or otherwise inappropriately abuse Kids Help Phone, its employees, partners, agents, subcontractors, Crisis Responders, or others;
- to send, knowingly receive, upload, download, use, or re-use any content which does not comply with these Terms;
- “spam,” gather or attempt to gather information belonging to users or others for the purposes of spamming, marketing, selling to third parties, or otherwise abusing Kids Help Phone or its users;
- flood Kids Help Phone with messages or calls that would cause denial of service;
- impersonate or attempt to impersonate another person or entity;
- engage in any other conduct that restricts or inhibits anyone’s use or enjoyment of our services, or which, as determined by us, may harm Kids Help Phone or users of the services or expose them to liability;
- copy, adapt, decompile, reverse engineer, attempt to discover the source code of, or make derivative works of the services or any portion of the services; or
- otherwise attempt to interfere with the proper working of the services.
Right to terminate
Kids Help Phone reserves the right to terminate your access to its services if you violate these Terms, including by engaging in the prohibited uses described above. Kids Help Phone may also unilaterally terminate your access to our services. For example, we might determine that you’d be better served by a different kind of support or that you need service beyond what we can reasonably provide to you. Kids Help Phone further reserves the right to terminate our services or your access to them, for any other reason, at our sole discretion.
This website contains links and references to websites of our partners, collaborators, and other external resources. If you have any questions or concerns about these links, please let us know. If you have complaints about content on these external sites, please direct them to the owner of the appropriate site.
Kids Help Phone owns title and holds copyright for all content it produces. Our website carries licensed images and other materials, the title and ownership of which belongs to the copyright holder. Users are invited to use and share content for non-commercial use. Content from Kids Help Phone can’t be used in funding applications, research, or any other fund-generating event without explicit authorisation from the Kids Help Phone Privacy Officer.
Kids Help Phone holds the following trademarks: 0765004, 0829164, 1112226, 0895490, 1085459, 1305827, 1110884, 1604241, 1305835, 1811027, 0829163, 0718883, 1718968, 1741396, 1598581, 1626241, 0903544, 1811026, 1604244, 1970653, 1877294. These include names, images, and logos. A copyrighted work may not be duplicated, disseminated, or appropriated by others without the creator’s permission. The public display or performance of copyrighted works is similarly restricted.
The sections below set out the Terms of Service specific to each of the following programs.
Kids Help Phone website
The Kids Help Phone website acts as a portal providing access to Kids Help Phone services. The following section outlines the terms under which Google Analytics is used on the website.
Google Analytics employs cookies to define user sessions, which allows for the collection of data about how visitors are using the websites. Google Analytics uses only first-party cookies for data analysis. This means that the cookies are linked to a specific website domain, and Google Analytics will only use that cookie data for statistical analysis related to your browsing behaviour on that specific website. According to Google, the data collected cannot be altered or retrieved by services from other domains.
If you choose, you can opt out by turning off cookies in the preferences settings in your web browser. For more information on Google Analytics, please visit Google Analytics.
Google Analytics Cookie Usage on Websites:
A cookie is a small text file that a website creates and places on a service user’s computer when they visit the site. The Kids Help Phone website utilizes cookies to track language preferences, provide customized web page content, manage user sessions, and display website navigation history. We cannot identify service users from this information.
Kids Help Phone uses cookie data to analyse user activity in order to improve our site. For example, we can analyse aggregate patterns such as the average number of unique visitors, how long they stay on the website, how many pages they visit, and website searches they perform. This analysis allows Kids Help Phone to improve the functionality and user accessibility of our website.
For Google Analytics, user data (including user flow) is retained for up to a maximum of 14 months. Web activity data is retained for up to 50 months.
Data use limitation
Website data is used for quality of service, metrics development, and service improvement.
The third-party security and privacy service provider is responsible for auditing compliance with this Terms of Service.
Kids Help Phone crisis response service via Facebook Messenger
Kids Help Phone crisis response service is offered via Facebook Messenger, a US-based messaging app and platform. You agreed to Facebook Messenger’s Terms of Service when you initially began using it.
Kids Help Phone may receive information from Facebook about you, including health information and/or mental health information that you’ve disclosed on Facebook, to provide you with personal support. Your information is collected, retained, used, and/or disclosed to provide you with the following services:
- To direct messages to you.
- To use your data for analytics and system improvement (we also disclose aggregate — i.e., non-identifying — data to funders).
After our last interaction with you, we keep your information for six months.
Data use limitation
By law, your information can only be used or disclosed for the purposes for which it was collected (unless you consent otherwise, or if it’s required by law). Personal information must only be kept as long as required to serve the purposes for which it was collected.
The system will be subject to an audit process to ensure compliance with applicable legislation and with Kids Help Phone policies.
By law, you must be informed of the existence, use, and disclosure of your protected data, and be given access to that information if you ask for it. You can challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information and have it corrected as appropriate.
Requests for information must be submitted in writing to: email@example.com
Due to potential confusion regarding names, it’s important that you include the following with your request:
- Personally identifying information (such as a government-issued photo ID) to validate your identity.
- The date (or date range) of the conversation.
- The reason why you’re asking for the information.
If you are a lawyer or other person requesting information on someone else’s behalf, you’ll need to submit evidence confirming your relationship to that person.
You are not allowed to use someone else’s account to connect with us. If you don’t have your own Facebook account, you can always reach us by calling in or texting.
Kids Help Phone crisis response service via texting
Kids Help Phone offers a crisis response service via texting (SMS).
Kids Help Phone is committed to providing you with the best possible texting service at all times. One of the ways that we help to ensure this is by creating transcripts of our texts with users. We use these transcripts for training and quality assurance purposes. We may also use texting data for internal analysis purposes in order to better understand usage and improve the texting service.
We will remove your data within seven days unless a legal obligation to maintain the information prevents us from doing so. If you have any questions regarding whether your data was removed, please contact us as set out at the end of these Terms of Service.
Data use limitation
If you’d like us to remove your information (including texting transcripts) from our records, you can text LOOFAH to 686868 or 741741 at any time.
We may use your phone number to send you a text message with a link to a survey about the texting service. If you click on the link, standard data rates apply. The survey is completely optional.
If you choose to complete the survey, we collect your survey responses, which may include demographic information about yourself as well your experience using the texting service. We use survey responses for quality assurance and training purposes, and to improve the texting service. If you don’t want to receive this survey, you can text STOP at any time, which prevents any future messages from being sent to you.
Kids Help Phone counselling service
Kids Help Phone offers counselling service via phone or web chat.
Kids Help Phone is committed to providing you with the best possible counselling service at all times. One of the ways that we help to ensure this is by creating audio recordings or chat transcripts of our conversations with users. We use these recordings and transcripts for training and quality assurance purposes. We may also use counselling data for internal analysis purposes in order to better understand usage and improve the counselling service.
We will remove your recorded audio or text based data within 90 days unless a legal obligation to maintain the information prevents us from doing so. If you have any questions regarding whether your data was removed, please contact us as set out at the end of these Terms of Service.
Kids Help Phone chatbot (“Kip”)
The Kids Help Phone Kip chatbot is an automated conversation bot created by artificial intelligence (AI). By using the bot, your data will be processed by an AI service. The data in the chatbot will be supported by the software vendor Filament AI.
The data in the chatbot will be retained for 30 days.
Data use limitation
Data in the chatbot will not be audited.
Kids Help Phone Insights
Kids Help Phone Insights data is extracted and analyzed from texting and phone service data.
Insights data is automatically created by a set of analytical tools called Power BI. This data is owned by Kids Help Phone and is meant for non-commercial use.
The data in Insights will be retained for seven years.
Data use limitation
Data in Insights is captured to present analytics on Kids Help Phone’s texting and phone services.
Kids Help Phone has engaged a third party to audit data access and will implement quality control measures.
Data in Insights can’t be used without explicit authorization from Kids Help Phone.
Kids Help Phone Resources Around Me
Resources Around Me allows you to search for physical or virtual support programs and services available to kids, teens, and young adults across Canada.
The data in Insights will be retained for seven years.
Data use limitation
Data in Resources Around Me is captured to present analytics on search behaviour and use of the tool.
Data in Resources Around me will not be audited; however, Kids Help Phone will use anonymized search queries to improve functionality within the tool.
Data in Resources Around Me can’t be used without explicit authorization from Kids Help Phone.
Kids Help Phone Good2Talk
Kids Help Phone Good2Talk (G2T) usage data is extracted and analyzed from the crisis response and counselling service data.
Data from G2T about the nature and volume of service use is shared with partner organizations (Ontario 211, ConnexOntario, and the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health).
The data in Good2Talk will be retained for seven years.
Data use limitation
Data in Good2Talk will be used by partners to present analytics on service metrics.
Data will not be audited; however, Kids Help Phone will implement quality control measures.
Data in Good2Talk can’t be used without explicit authorization from Kids Help Phone.
Kids Help Phone Peer-to-Peer Community
The Peer-to-Peer Community, delivered via online message boards, enables indirect communication between Kids Help Phone service users. The service presents a webpage to the public; this webpage is tied to an associated database that captures all interactions between users and moderators.
Kids Help Phone will sync and copy data from English to French, and from French to English.
In order to reduce any malicious activity, Kids Help Phone may block, ban, or report to the authorities any users or locations that disrupt, exhibit unusual activity, spam, or attempt to destroy the service. Kids Help Phone may log all system activity for the purpose of security threat analysis.
Moderation guidelines can be provided on demand.
Data in its raw format may be retained for up to seven years from the date of the last Kids Help Phone-user interaction. As the purpose of data retention is to capture the full history of a given conversation, data may be retained beyond seven years if the conversation continues for longer than seven years.
Data use limitation
Data will only be used for providing the service, analysing staff performance, work and caseload management, topic analysis, aggregate report-backs to funders, and reporting.
Kids Help Phone will enforce named user log-in for users accessing the service.
Wellness Together Canada
These Terms of Service are also available in French, and can be made available in Arabic on demand.
If you want to view your information, or have any concerns about the way in which your information is used or disclosed, please contact the Kids Help Phone Privacy Officer at:
Kids Help Phone, National Office, 300‐439 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1Y8
We will make every effort to address your concerns. Concerns and complaints may also be addressed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.