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Social Workers and Social Service Workers

The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (“OCSWSSW”) is an association established under the Social Work and Social Service Work Act. The OCSWSSW is governed by a twenty one (21) member council, comprised of seven (7) social workers and seven (7) social service workers elected by the OCSWSSW, as well as seven persons appointed by the Ontario Government. The OCSWSSW’s mandate is to save and protect society from unqualified social workers. They do so by requiring membership in order to practice as a social worker, social service worker, registered social worker, and registered social service worker. Once members, individuals are bound to a code of ethical conduct, as well as competency and transparency requirements.

To be admitted as a member of the OCSWSSW as a social worker one must have attained the requisite university degree and must continuously participate in professional development. The duties of a social worker involve diagnosis, treatment and any other medical assessments or evaluations. On the other hand, to become a licensed member as a social service worker one must have attained the requisite post-secondary diploma and made the commitment to continuing professional development. A social service worker provides counsel and support to the community via various social assistance programs.

The OCSWSSW, in keeping with its mandate (protection of the public), can hear and investigate complaints. The OCSWSSW will also conduct disciplinary hearings and penalize transgressors. A complaint must address conduct relating to professional misconduct, incapacity, incompetence, or sexual abuse. All complaints are to be made in writing or on tape and addressed to the College’s Director. If and when a complaint results in a disciplinary hearing, the result of that hearing may be to penalize the accused. The OCSWSSW has the power to revoke registration, suspend registration for a term not exceeding twenty-four (24) months, impose terms or conditions on the license, impose a fine of up to $5,000.00, fix costs, and finally postpone the imposition of any penalty to a more suitable date.

If you are a social worker or a social service worker facing a disciplinary proceeding or if you have been terminated from your employment due to alleged professional misconduct we urge you to give us a call to discuss your matter immediately. We will assess your case and its implications on the preservation of your license and job.