NSCSW member consultation: Sexual misconduct standards & policy

We are seeking member input on the NSCSW’s Standards and Policy regarding sexual misconduct.

The primary obligation of the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers is to regulate the social work profession in Nova Scotia and to serve the public interest. We establish, maintain, and regulate standards of professional practice to ensure Nova Scotians receive the services of skilled and competent social workers who are knowledgeable, ethical, qualified, and accountable to the people who receive social work.

Many professions have been in the process of providing clarity to the public and the profession regarding how sexual misconduct is being defined, how complaints are being investigated, and what the consequences of a substantiated sexual misconduct claim will be.

Incorporating Standards of Practice regarding sexual misconduct into our standards and policies allows us to provide structure for the governance, discipline, and accountability from the professionals who are practicing social work in Nova Scotia

The NSCSW has clear Standards of Practice that prohibit social workers from having sexual or romantic relationships with their clients. However, having a developed guideline providing clear definitions of what is Sexual Misconduct and what the process is for investigating these types of allegations will enhance both the social worker’s and the public’s knowledge.

The NSCSW has gone through an environmental scan, literature review, consulted with legal counsel and is now inviting member engagement to ensure that the standards and policy:

  • clearly define sexual misconduct,
  • provide standards regarding a social workers’ responsibilities regarding sexual misconduct,
  • articulate a process for investigating a sexual misconduct claim, and
  • establish the disciplinary action that may result from substantiated incidents of sexual misconduct.

We invite members to provide input!

Members who participate in this consultation may choose to include it when reporting hours of professional development in social work ethics.