COVID-19 Response and Practice Considerations for Social Workers, Social Service Workers and Their Employers
The College remains committed to providing updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic with members and other stakeholders. We continue to take our cues from government and public health authorities, and we remind employers and members to do the same.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact members, employers, and the clients and communities they serve, we recognize that employers have had to adapt many aspects of their work, including how College members deliver services. The College continues to prioritize the development of resources related to electronic practice and how best to support members and their employers in providing ethical and professional care.
The College can also relate to this “new normal” – having moved forward with a hybrid model approach, which will see staff working in the College’s office in Toronto as well as at home. This allows us to be more flexible and accessible for all stakeholders while continuing to fulfill our important public protection mandate.
Using Professional Judgment
As the College continues to take its cues from government and public health authorities, we are advising members and their employers to use their professional judgment when deciding how and when it is appropriate to resume in-person services or to continue to provide services by electronic means.
There are several factors to be considered in relation to this important decision, including client needs and/or preferences. The College encourages social workers and social service workers to use the ETHICS-A: Ethical Decision-Making Tool to assist them in applying their professional judgment.
College members and their employers are advised to consult the College’s practice resources regularly, including:
- COVID-19 Updates webpage
- Top 6 considerations for virtual services
- FAQs on cross-jurisdictional practice
Asking About Proof of Vaccination Status
As noted in the fall 2021 issue of the Employer Communiqué, proof of vaccination is required in specific settings, but not in places where people receive medical care. More detailed information on asking about proof of vaccination status can be found in the fall 2021 issue of the Employer Communiqué and the October 27, 2021 eBulletin sent out to College members.
Employers of social workers and social service workers should continue to visit the College’s centralized webpage to access all information related to COVID-19, including practice support and eBulletins, which have been sent to members and other stakeholders throughout the pandemic. A list of frequently asked questions is also accessible on the COVID-19 Updates webpage.