December 14, 2011
Robert T. McQuaid
I am writing to you in my capacity as Registrar of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
I am writing to you because you are identified as the "Contact" on a page of the www.fixcas.com website.
The College has noted that the www.fixcas.com website has a page that indicates that it contains a list of individuals registered with the College.
As you know, the College maintains a register of its members.
The information on the College's register is time-sensitive. Information based on the College's register is accurate as of the date it is issued by the College, not after that date.
In this context, I am writing to express a concern that the above-mentioned indication that the www.fixcas.com website contains a list of individuals registered with the College, as well as the information about specific individuals registered with the College, may not be accurate given the time-sensitive nature of the information on the College's register.
In my view, if these potential inaccuracies exist, they may lead to concerns among the public, agencies, members of the College or others.
The College has also noted that the website www.fixcas.com has a page with links to lists of agencies, which contain information apparently based on information from the College's register. Those lists bear prominently and repeatedly the phrase "Unregistered CAS/FACS Workers unlawfully working in Ontario". However, it appears that, for the most part, the information contained in those lists relates to College members.
In this context, I am writing to express a concern that the juxtaposition of the mentioned phrase and the information on the lists may be seen by some to imply that College members are not lawfully entitled to practise social work in Ontario. Such an implication is inaccurate. The inaccuracy of this implication may lead to concerns among the public, agencies, members of the College or others.
The College has also noted that portions of the information on the mentioned lists are highlighted in yellow. I am writing to express a general concern that the yellow highlighting may be perceived by some to reflect that all of the highlighted information falls into a category of information which should be considered similarly. More specifically, I am concerned that such a perception may reflect a misunderstanding of the nature of a provisional certificate of registration issued by the College. Please note that a social work member who holds a provisional certificate of registration issued by the College has no restrictions on his or her authority to practise social work.
The concerns expressed in this letter have been communicated because of the College's view that it is possible that a failure to address some or all of these concerns may cause harm to a variety of persons, including the public (including those who may rely on potentially inaccurate or misleading information), agencies, members of the College, you, those involved with www.fixcas.com, or others.
Yours very truly,
Glenda McDonald M.S.W, RSW
December 18, 2011
Glenda McDonald, Registrar,
Jolinne Kearns, Communications Coordinator
Ontario College of Social Workers
and Social Service Workers
250 Bloor St. East, Suite 1000
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1E6
Subject: Letter from Glenda McDonald, Registrar, December 14, 2011
The website fixcas.com includes a copy of some of the reports of registered social workers at Ontario's children's aid societies. Your email of December 14, copied below, raises three substantive concerns with that copy:
The information is time-sensitive
Links in that list lead to photocopy pages headlined: "Unregistered CAS/FACS Workers unlawfully working in Ontario".
Some of the information on the photocopies is highlighted in yellow.
Dealing with them out of order:
The headline "Unregistered CAS/FACS Workers unlawfully working in Ontario" is the name of a group within Canada Court Watch that supplied the information, not a description of the status of the persons in the list. But you are correct that the presence of those headlines impugns the legitimacy of all of the properly registered workers on the list. This has been corrected by removing all parts of the files containing the misleading headlines.
The yellow highlighting was on the lists before coming to fixcas, and will remain there until a practical technology is found to remove it, or until it is replaced by more current data without the highlighting.
The material is indeed time sensitive. The link into the table now warns readers that the data was acquired in June and July 2011. The list was created with a hybrid of computer ocr and manual correction. At the next revision, there will be a time warning closer to the actual data. There is little that fixcas can do to provide always-current data, but the OCSWSSW can easily do so by placing the database where users can access it through the internet instead of the slow and error-prone process of Canada Post.
Robert T McQuaid
558 McMartin Road
Mattawa Ontario P0H 1V0