As mandated under the Social Work and Social Service Work Act, 1998, the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (the College) is required to have a process for mandatory reports.
The Act lists specific circumstances in which an employer of a College member must make a report to the College. These include but are not limited to terminating the employment of a College member for reasons of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity.
How soon must an employer file a mandatory report with the College?
The report must be made within 30 days of the date on which you terminated the member’s employment or within 30 days of the date on which the member resigned. As mandated under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), in the case where a health information custodian terminates, suspends or disciplines a College member in relation to a breach of privacy, the report is required to be filed within 30 days of the event.
What should be included in the report?
- Your name.
- The name of the College member who is the subject of the report.
- A statement about the reason for the report (e.g., due to the termination or resignation of the member).
- If the report concerns the termination or resignation of a member, a detailed explanation or description of the professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity for which you terminated or intended to terminate the member.
- If the report concerns the suspension or discipline of a member for reasons relating to a breach of privacy, a detailed explanation of the nature of the privacy breach and details regarding the suspension or discipline imposed.
- If the report concerns the member’s conviction for an offence involving sexual conduct, a detailed explanation or description of the offence, including the dates on which the sexual conduct occurred or on which the member was charged, and the date on which the member was convicted.
- If the report concerns a member’s sexual abuse of a client, a detailed explanation or description of the sexual abuse.
- The name of the client who was sexually abused ONLY IF the client or the client’s representative (if the client is incapable) has consented in writing. If the client (or client’s representative if the client is incapable) has not consented in writing, the client’s name MUST NOT be included in the report.
You may also wish to enclose relevant documents with your report.
What happens if I don’t make a report?
The Act makes failure to report an offence. On conviction, there is liability for a fine of up to $25,000. Members of the College who fail to report may also face allegations of professional misconduct.
The mandatory reporting process is an important regulatory tool used by the College to protect the public from unqualified, unfit and incompetent practitioners. Employers of social workers and social service workers are responsible to be aware of, and if need be complete, the mandatory reporting process.
For more information about when and how to file a mandatory report, please visit the College website.