Legislation & Bylaws

Social work in Newfoundland and Labrador is regulated under provincial legislation titled An Act Respecting the Practice of the Social Work (Social Workers Act).  Only those registered with NLCSW and granted the Registered Social Worker (RSW) designation are permitted under the law to use the title ‘social worker’ or practice social work in Newfoundland and Labrador.


The Act defines social work as:
The assessment, remediation and prevention of psycho-social problems and the enhancement of the social, psycho-social functioning and well-being of individuals, families, groups and communities by

  1. Providing direct counseling and therapy services to a client
  2. Developing, promoting and delivering human service programs, including those done in association with other professions
  3. Contributing to the development and improvement of social policy and
  4. Conducting research in the science, technique and practice of social work.


The Social Workers Regulations serve to support the requirements of the legislation.


Pursuant to Section 17 of the Act, the NLCSW By-laws provides the rules and procedures related to day-to-day governance and outlines the structure of the organization.  Section 19 of the NLCSW by-laws identifies the code of ethics for RSW’s in Newfoundland and Labrador as the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) Code of Ethics (2005) and the CASW Guidelines for Ethical Practice (2005).  Section 20 identifies the standards of practice as the NLCSW Standards of Practice for Social Workers (2018).