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Suggestions for Social Workers
March 6, 2005 permalink
The Social Work and Social Services Act is under review concurrently with the Child and Family Services Act. Here is a set of suggestions for amending it.
311 Taylor Drive
Lakeshore, Ontario N8N 4K9
March 6, 2005
Attention: Mohamad Haniff, Senior Policy Analyst
Ministry of Community & Social Services
Community Services Branch
56 Wellesley Street West, 12thFloor
Re: Review of the Social Work and Social Service Act 1998
Dear Mr. Haniff:
I have experience with the social work profession both personally and professionally. I would like to make some recommendations.
I have grave concerns about the future of the social work profession. I have seen social workers misrepresent themselves and outright lie to clients, perjure themselves in Court, and perpetrate malicious abuse of the client with no legal accountability.
Unless these problems are rectified, social work is a doomed profession. The College must implement policies and procedures to discipline its members.
..A social worker should have the proper qualifications and degrees to be a social worker. It should a condition of working with the public that a social worker be registered with the College of Social Work. Persons without these qualifications should not identify themselves as social workers nor be given the status and powers of a social worker. Both public and private agencies need to stop hiring unqualified people to do social work.
..Swearing of false or misleading affidavits should be grounds for disciplinary action, which should include fine and/or loss of license. There should be a permanent record of such disciplinary action available to the public on request. These cases should be documented in detail in the Journal of the College of Social Work. Social workers who misrepresent situations or outright lie to clients should be subject to dismissal from the College.
..A discipline committee should be established to hear complaints from the public regarding the profession. A discipline committee is part of every other professional college.
..A code of Professional Ethics and Conduct should be established. Social workers should receive undergraduate training in Ethics.
..There needs to be a program of professional development linked to license renewal.
..Every professional in Ontario is legally accountable for his or her action except social workers. Social workers should no longer have immunity from criminal prosecution or civil suit.
..Social workers need to know the boundaries of their profession. They are not physicians, lawyers, or policeman. They need to deal with other professionals in a respectful and professional manner. They are not there to prejudice medical consultations or to interfere in the medical care of the client. Nor are they are there to make medical diagnoses. They need to confine their attention to social work.
..Police background checks be mandatory requirement of employment for social workers dealing with vulnerable populations.
..There should be an oral and written exam for licensure to insure the competency of new graduates.
Dolores A. Sicheri, MD. FRCPC