The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (the College) anticipates that the Ontario Government’s announcement to move the province into Step Three of its “Roadmap to Reopen” plan on July 16, 2021 may prompt questions from members regarding their return to practice.
As noted in a previous eBulletin, though we are hopeful by improvements in the vaccination rate and public health and healthcare indicators, the College continues to urge social workers and social service workers to remain vigilant against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
College members should ensure that they are up-to-date with respect to information and guidance from government and public health authorities and familiar with previous College communications regarding:
- safety and infection control measures;
- considerations for members regarding in-person practice; and
- key considerations for members in private practice.
Members may wish to refer to the regulation for the full list of public health and workplace safety measures that need to be followed. It is important to note that there are a number of requirements set out in the Regulation with which all businesses that may open must comply.
While resuming in-person services may be permitted, it is not required. Members are advised to use their professional judgment when deciding if and when it is appropriate to resume such in-person services or to continue to provide services by electronic means.
Members should consider a number of factors as they decide how and when they will return to in-person practice. We encourage them to use the ETHICS-A: Ethical Decision-Making Tool to assist them in applying their professional judgment to this important decision.
The College also encourages members to consult the following practice resources:
- COVID-19 Updates webpage
- Top 6 considerations for virtual services
- FAQs on cross-jurisdictional practice
Members and other stakeholders should continue to visit the College’s centralized webpage to access practice support, as well as other COVID-19 resources, links to government and public health authorities, and eBulletins which have been sent to members and other stakeholders throughout the pandemic.
The College continues to provide recommendations that are intended to protect the health and well-being of both members and the Ontario public.
Thank you for your dedication and commitment. Keep well.
Lise Betteridge, MSW, RSW
Registrar and CEO