Electronic Social Work Practice Criteria For Registered Social Workers in NL

The title social worker and the practice of social work are regulated in NL. NL residents wishing to engage in the practice of social work using electronic technologies with clients who reside in this province or in any other jurisdiction must be registered with the Newfoundland and Labrador College of Social Workers (NLCSW).  Further information about the criteria for social work registration in NL is available at https://www.nlcsw.ca/registration#how-to-register.

Registered social workers must adhere to the:

As detailed in the Technology Use in Social Work Practice Explanatory Document, social workers have a responsibility to be aware of inter-jurisdictional issues when providing therapy or social work services using electronic technologies. 

Social workers have an ethical and legal responsibility to seek informed consent from clients prior to the delivery of social work services and throughout the professional relationship as needed.  When providing therapy or social work services using electronic technologies, there are additional considerations.  The Self-Assessment Tools for Informed Consent and Documentation self-assessment guide contains helpful checklists outlining what social workers should cover as part of the informed consent process. BMS, exclusive broker for the CASW professional liability insurance program, also offers a helpful template which provides guidance as to the type of information one should consider including in a consent for electronic services. It can be accessed by clicking here.

Regulatory requirements vary across provinces, US states and countries therefore social workers who reside in NL but provide services to clients in other jurisdictions are responsible for knowing the registration requirements governing all forms of social work practice in the jurisdiction where the client resides. There are several jurisdictions that require social workers to be registered to provide services within that area and may require different levels of licensure depending upon the nature of the social work practice.  Further information can be obtained by contacting the appropriate regulatory agency. Contact information for other Canadian social work regulatory bodies can be found by clicking here.  

Social workers need to consider how to address awareness of local resources to assist clients and integrate this into the informed consent process.

Social workers should also ensure that they have professional liability insurance policies which provide adequate coverage for the practice and the jurisdiction in which practice is being provided.

In response to member inquiries, NLCSW has developed an Interjurisdictional Social Work Practice FAQ and Practice Guidelines document. This document addresses some of the most frequently asked questions and provides guidance for social workers in NL who are interested or engaged in the provision of social work services across jurisdictions.