Lise Betteridge

Message from the Registrar and CEO

Title Protection Protects the Public

New online initiative will list unregulated practitioners

At the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, we continue to enhance our regulatory effectiveness through a number of new and ongoing initiatives, in the fulfillment of our mission to protect the interest of the public.

I am very pleased to announce the August 2018 launch of an unregulated practitioners webpage located in the Public section of the College website. This page will list court proceedings that have been initiated or are in the process of being initiated against unregulated practitioners.

We recognize the importance of title protection to our members. As you know, the following titles — including their abbreviations and French equivalents — are protected in the province of Ontario, meaning they may only be used by members of the College: social worker, registered social worker, social service worker, and registered social service worker.

It is also illegal for an individual to hold out expressly or by implication that they are a social worker or social service worker without being registered with the College.

We believe that a public listing of unregulated practitioners will help protect the public from unqualified, incompetent or unfit practitioners. We also recognize that title protection is important to you in the practice of your professions; the integrity of your titles is a valuable aspect of membership and a fundamental duty of the College.

If you are aware of any individual who is illegally using a protected title and/or holding themselves out as a social worker or social service worker, you may report this information to the College at titleprotection@ocswssw.org.

New faces, new initiatives

As the provincial regulator of social workers and social service workers, the College works with the Government of Ontario to fulfill our mission in accordance with the Social Work and Social Service Work Act, 1998 and the regulations and bylaws made under that Act. In June, following the provincial election, we welcomed the Honourable Lisa MacLeod as the newly elected Minister of Children, Community and Social Services.

We also welcomed new and returning members of the incoming 2018/19 College Council, who convened for their first meeting in early September. I look forward to working with the College Council as we continue our work with the Ministry, to fulfill our important public protection mandate and protect vulnerable Ontarians. We have a number of new initiatives launching this fall intended to enhance stakeholder and public awareness, promote ethical and professional practice, and improve communications with you, our members.

We are looking forward to the launch of a public awareness campaign to educate Ontarians on the role of the College and the protections provided through the regulation of the professions of social work and social service work. This campaign is vital to our public protection mandate because it will help the public recognize the legislated safeguards that are in place when using the services of registered social workers and registered social service workers.

We will also be launching an ethical decision-making framework from our Professional Practice Department to better assist our members in navigating ethical dilemmas. Grounded in the Standards of Practice, the framework is an easy-to-use resource that gives members an ethical toolkit unique to practice in Ontario.

Finally, we look forward to a number of communications initiatives based in part on the feedback that you, our members, provided through this summer’s communications survey. I hope you’ve noticed the new look of Perspective and its email template, which allows for easy navigation through the articles and topics that are important to you.

Based on your feedback from the survey, we will also transition Perspective to a more prominent place on our website, so it can be found and more easily accessed by all stakeholders.

As we move towards 2019, I am excited by the opportunities and initiatives that lie ahead. I look forward, in future editions of Perspective, to discussing current issues that are relevant to the regulation of our professions and the strategic initiatives of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

Lise Betteridge, MSW, RSW
Registrar and CEO