Communication regarding NLCSW's 2021-24 Strategic Plan is ongoing and intended to illustrate the important linkage between the plan and the ongoing work of NLCSW.
A key part of the plan was the expansion of the values section. While these values have long been a part of NLCSW, the 2021-24 plan articulates how these values play out each day through NLCSW's actions, processes, partnerships, and relationships. As detailed in the January 2022 edition of Connecting Voices, NLCSW's Executive Director and Registrar, Lisa Crockwell, explored the four values and how they shape NLCSW's approach to regulation.
- Enhance Social Work Regulation and the Registration Process Through Continuous Quality Review. Some of the key actions/activities that stem from this include:
- Electronic Practice: The NLCSW website has a section dedicated to electronic practice and continues to produce practice resources on this topic. One of the areas identified in the 2021-24 plan was a need to address the increased volume of practice approval requests received from registered social workers from other Canadian jurisdictions looking to engage in electronic social work practice with residents in NL. Given the increasing volume, administrative resources required, and the trends in other provinces, the NLCSW Board of Directors approved the introduction of an annual practice approval fee effective March 1, 2022 for this target group.
- Update My CPE Quality Improvements: Since its introduction in 2018, the use of this CPE tracking feature has continued to expand and with the introduction of the streamlined version as part of 2022 renewal, NLCSW hopes to see even more uptake amongst the membership.
- Review the Registration Process Through a Cultural Competency Lens: Over the course of this strategic plan, a review of the registration process will be undertaken. The first phase of this process will be working with the Canadian Council of Social Work Regulators and a reference group who have lived expertise to develop a national framework to guide the review.
- Advance the Professional Conduct Review (PCR) Process Through Ongoing Evaluation. The following highlights key activities in relation to this objective:
- Accessibility of PCR Process: Beginning in 2022, NLCSW implemented surveys of complainants and respondents involved with the PCR process to obtain feedback on what is going well and to identify areas for improvement.
- Training for Complaints Authorization Committees (CACs) and Disciplinary Panel: NLCSW will continue to provide ongoing training and debriefing for all CACs, Disciplinary Panel members, and investigators to ensure consistency and efficiency in processes and decision making. More information regarding the composition and role of the various parties involved in the PCR process can be found at Complaints Review Process | NLCSW.
- Develop a Risk Assessment Tool for Allegations Against Practice: A risk assessment tool has been developed and will be utilized by the CAC to assist in decision making by allowing them to complete a formal risk assessment of all allegations, with matters determined to be of higher risk prioritized.
- Collaborate with Other Organizations Towards Regulatory Excellence. NLCSW advances this objective through our involvement with the Health Regulators Network of NL, Canadian Council of Social Work Regulators, Association of Social Work Boards, and the International Federation of Social Work Regulators.
- Focus on Achieving Excellence in Regulatory Governance. Examples of activities that fall under this objective include:
- Exploring Tools to Monitor Board Engagement and Knowledge: The NLCSW Board of Directors is responsible for governance as well as complaints authorization functions. Over the course of this strategic plan, staff will collaborate with the dedicated board volunteers to ensure they have the tools needed to function at an optimal level.
- Enhance Board Orientation by Offering Additional Sessions: The current orientation process for all new board members is designed to provide an informed foundation for the work ahead. Offering additional sessions, which could include a mix of both seasoned and new board members, has been identified as a tangible activity as part of NLCSW's focus on achieving excellence in regulatory governance.
- Provide Leadership in the Development of Practice Resources. Examples of activities that fall under this objective include:
- Comprehensive Review of Key NLCSW Practice Resources: Over the course of this strategic plan, three main documents were identified for review. Thus far, the Technology Use in Social Work Practice (Explanatory Document) has been revised to reflect its standing as a companion document to NLCSW's Standards of Practice. Key revisions found in the updated document include the addition of a best practice pertaining to respect and professionalism as it relates to electronic mediums and online boundaries, as well as more guidance pertaining to the use of technology to advance social justice, advocacy, and political action. Work continues on the Child Custody and Access Assessment Explanatory Document and the Complementary and Adjunct Therapies and Techniques Guideline Document.
- Ongoing Expansion of Practice Matters, Documentation Matters, and Ethical Compass Series: Regular editions of these publications continue to be released. These interpretative documents are intended to provide information, clarification, and commentary on professional and ethical issues in social work practice.
- Support the Continuing Competency of Social Workers. Examples of activities under this objective include:
- Embracing Excellence Educational Series: As noted in NLCSW's 2021-22 Annual Report, 19 hours of CPE were offered under this series in the last registration year. Since March, 10.5 hours in CPE offerings have been accumulated. Planning for CPE to be offered in the fall is also well underway. Feedback indicates that registrants appreciate the diversity of topics covered as part of this series and the availability of the webinar recordings through NLCSW's YouTube channel.
- Continue to Promote and Offer CPE Funding: CPE funding is available through both NLCSW and the Canadian Association of Social Workers. Funding promotion is done through NLCSW's various communication channels including the monthly electronic Update which is emailed to all NLCSW registrants and non-practicing members, as well as NLCSW's twitter account and website.