We’ve collected information and links that private practitioners in Nova Scotia are likely to find useful. Read on.

COVID-19

Public health approved guidelines for reopening private practice offices in Nova Scotia beginning June 5, 2020.

Please review these documents carefully, and do not hesitate to reach out to the College if you have any questions. Compliance with these guidelines is required in order for Private Practitioners to resume offering in-person services for elective and non-urgent care.

CASW resources

The Canadian Association of Social Workers offers many learning resources that are free for all NSCSW members, including webinars and a full-text journal database. Members of our College can visit the CASW website to claim their free national membership.

Private Practice Portal

The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) website includes a Private Practice Portal. This portal is an invaluable resource for any RSW who is currently in private practice, or is considering becoming a private practitioner in future. The information in the portal is well-organized and covers a broad scope of topics.

Do you know which social work services you provide are exempt from HST? Have you considered creating a professional will? Do you feel that your marketing and promotion practices could be more effective? Whether you are an experienced private practitioner or just getting started, the Private Practice Portal can help you explore solutions to these questions and concerns, and many more.

Insurance

As an NSCSW member, the CASW Liability Insurance Program is available to you. This program offers a full range of coverage specifically designed to meet your practice risk needs. Coverage options include protection for professional liability, commercial general liability, cyber security and privacy liability, and business related coverages.

Connection magazine

The College publishes Connection magazine three times a year. There is a recurring section in the magazine that features articles about private practice. 

A selection of private practice articles in past issues of Connection:

If you would like to pitch an article for the private practice section of Connection, please review our editorial guidelines and contact our Communication Coordinator to discuss your proposal. 

Recommended rate

NSCSW has set the recommended fee for private practice masters-level and PhD social workers registered with the College at a minimum rate of $160.00 per session.

Individual practitioners will always retain the autonomy to set and adjust their fees. The recommended rate is provided as a guideline to inform clients of what they can expect to pay for social work services in a private practice setting. This rate is also set to assist third‐party payers (i.e insurers, government, and private business) so they can make informed decisions when adjusting their reimbursement rates for their services. 

This recommended fee is based on a comparison of other mental health professionals in Nova Scotia providing counselling and mental health services. Please note that there may be fee variations taking into consideration: geographical location, practice specialization, nature of the service provided and number of people involved in each session. Fees for specialized services may be higher than the recommended rate.

Listings in the online registry

All Registered Social Workers in Nova Scotia are listed in a searchable online registry. The online registry allows members of the public to verify the credentials of a social worker. Individuals and organizations can also use the registry to search for private practitioners in a specific region, or area of specialization. 

Private practitioners may choose to publicize the contact information for their practice in the online registry, or to keep their contact information private. 

  1. Visit your member profile.
  2. Select Employment Information from the menu options.
  3. Add/update the contact information for your practice. Check the box at the top of the form to indicate that this information is for a private practice.
  4. When completing the online form for registration renewal, update your consent to show practice information. (Between renewals, please contact the Regulatory and Applications Administrator for assistance with this step.)

Telepractice

Electronic social work services involve the use of computers (including the Internet, social media, online chat, text, and email) and other electronic means (such as smartphones, landline telephones, and video technology) to:

  • provide information to the public
  • deliver social work services to clients
  • communicate with clients
  • manage confidential information and case records
  • store and access information about clients
  • arrange payment for professional services

Nova Scotia social workers providing electronic social work services shall take all necessary measures to ensure compliance with relevant practice standards. For information about standards specific to electronic social work practice, review Standard 9: Technology & Storage of Files, and Standards for Technology and Social Work Practice published by the National College of Social Workers and College of Social Work Boards.

To offer electronic social work services to clients outside Nova Scotia, you may need to obtain additional authorization from the jurisdiction where your prospective clients reside. Please contact the regulatory body in that jurisdiction directly to confirm their current requirements.

Social workers from other Canadian jurisdictions cannot engage in electronic social work practice in Nova Scotia unless they receive and maintain authorization from our College