The COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid situation that has caused unprecedented changes to the lives of individuals, families and communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) and beyond. The information that follows is intended to provide insight and direction for members of the public who may have questions regarding NLASW operations and social work practice in NL during COVID-19.
From a client perspective, what should I be aware of prior to engaging in electronic social work services?
The movement towards electronic social work services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has provided social workers and clients with the ability to continue working together while respecting physical distancing requirements. NLASW has clear practice standards for social workers registered in NL who are engaging in electronic social work services - https://nlasw.ca/electronic_social_work_practice.
NLASW also has an electronic practice policy for social workers registered in other Canadian provinces who are providing social work services electronically to residents of NL. Information for clients receiving electronic social work services from a social worker in another province can be found at https://nlasw.ca/information_for_clients.
How can I confirm whether the individual providing social work services is a registered social worker?
Social work in Newfoundland and Labrador is regulated under provincial legislation titled An Act Respecting the Practice of Social Work (Social Workers Act). Registration with NLASW grants the Registered Social Worker (RSW) designation which is required to use the title social worker or to practice within the scope of the social work profession in this province including the provision of electronic social work services.
NLASW maintains an online registry of all registered social workers in NL - https://nlasw.ca/membersearch. Registered social workers would be listed with an ‘active’ status and expiry date of February 28, 2021.
NLASW also maintains a list of social workers from other Canadian jurisdictions who have been approved for electronic social work practice in NL. This listing can be accessed at https://nlasw.ca/social_workers_other_canadian_jurisdictions_approved_for_electronic_practice_NL.
Is the NLASW Complaints and Discipline process impacted by COVID-19?
While NLASW’s physical office remains closed, NLASW staff are working remotely to review concerns and complaints as efficiently as possible. A detailed overview of the Complaints Review Process is available on our website - https://nlasw.ca/regulation/complaints-review-process. If you would like to speak with someone about the conduct or behavior of a social worker or about the Professional Conduct Review process, please contact the Associate Registrar by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Where can I find credible sources of public information related to COVID-19?
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada both have dedicated webpages on the COVID-19 outbreak in this province and Canada, respectively. Please consult these pages for up-to-date local and national information on the current outbreak.
Additional trusted sources of information include:
What mental health resources are available to help me and/or my family during this time?
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s website has a detailed listing of available mental health resources, some of which are targeted to specific age groups including children and seniors- https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/individuals-and-households/mental-health-and-wellness/.