Tax related barriers

The association advocates for the profession of social service work by appreciating and working with our stakeholders in identifying the challenges our members face in relation to tax-related barriers (HST). The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) currently does not recognize the profession of social service work, although the CRA, does currently recognize the profession of social work (Section 7.2 of Part II of Schedule V) of the Excise Tax Act. Social service workers which provide private practice services to clients for the prevention, assessment, or remediation of a physical, emotional, behavioural, or mental disorder or disability of that individual or to assist that individual in coping with such a disorder – are required to collect HST in the delivery of their professional services, although social work counterparts, do not. This places a further compounding burden on clients, in which social service work professional activities may not be recognized by private insurance plans and then in addition, requiring clients to pay out of pocket, including HST. Social service workers are designed to be practical, accessible and an affordable solution for our clients and communities, that need support.

MTCU: 50721/50728 program standards

The association advocates for the profession of social service work by recognizing the MTCU program standards, although not the responsibility of the association, require the input and consultation of the association. The associations position is that a variety of vocational outcomes require further enhancement. The association also advocates for the transition from a two-year Ontario College Diploma to a three-year Ontario College Advanced Diploma as the desirable standard of qualification, for entry to the profession. The association believes this change is needed due to the the increased scope of practice in the profession of social service work. (i.e., the controlled/self-initiated act #14: psychotherapy) along with many other changes in the field and practice of the profession. The field of social service work, intersects a variety of over twenty plus, different and overlapping college trained professions. Some of these professions are non-regulated, yet have transitioned from a two year diploma to a three year advanced diploma (i.e. child and youth care), yet do not enjoy the expansive scope of the social service work profession.

Strengthen stakeholder engagement and government relations

The association advocates for the profession of social service work by strengthening stakeholder engagement with other professional associations, which are related to the National Occupational Classification (NOC): 4212 i.e.: paralegals, early childhood educators etc. The intention of this collaboration is to develop both relationships and best practices, at each association. The association works to establish enhanced relationships with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, in which the associations’ role is to educate and act as the voice of the social service work profession. The association also advocates for issues related to scope of practice e.g., activities permitted in law for social service workers – with their current inability to assist with Ontario Disability Support Program – Activities of Daily Living Index. This barrier should be noted as social service workers are one of the largest service providers for clients seeking ODSP social assistance supports (in shelters, addiction programs etc.)

Labour mobility

The association advocates for the profession of social service work by understanding the barriers social service workers face with employment/registration in other Canadian provinces or territories. The only path for social service worker registration outside of Ontario, is with the Northwest Territories, Professional Licensing department as a *Licensed Social Worker (LSW). The association is advocating for universal labour mobility for the profession of social service work across Canada. The association further is working to address these issue with the non-regulated territories (Yukon and Nunavut). The association recognizes in the provinces of British Columbia and Quebec, as an example, social service workers, are college diploma trained professionals, yet are currently non-regulated, nor recognized at the regulatory level in their home jurisdictions. Projects surrounding advocacy efforts for self-regulation are being explored in the context of other provinces and territories, to ultimately enhance labour mobility for social service workers from Ontario, to other jurisdictions, and in reverse, back to Ontario.