Health Care Resources

on Mental Health

Role Statement: Role of Social Work in Mental Health (attached)


Home Care

Previously, OASW participated in an alliance of five professional associations whose members work in the home care sector  (Dietitians Canada-Ontario Division, Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists, Ontario Physiotherapy Association, Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, and OASW). Chronic under funding of this sector and the use of a "nursing model" have led to a sharp decline in referrals to all five rehabilitation professions, APACTS advocacy has focused on: enhancing funding for rehabilitation services in home care in order to enable older adults to remain in the community; reducing caregiver burden; and preventing costly and premature admissions/readmissions to hospitals and long-term care settings.  The Alliance of Professional Associations for Community-Based Therapy Services (APACTS) works with government, community care access centres and other stakeholders to ensure that the role, contribution and concerns of rehabilitation professionals are understood and addressed. 
For more information visit www.apacts.ca.

Medical Rehabilitation - Motor Vehicle Accidents

Background Information on Social Work in Auto Insurance-MVA Sector
OASW is active in a large coalition of regulated health professional associations and allied organizations that advocates with the Ministry of Finance, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and major insurance companies on behalf of the regulated professions who provide medical rehabilitation services to victims of motor vehicle accidents.

Ongoing changes in the automobile insurance industry in recent years necessitated a multi-pronged approach in advocacy, on behalf of regulated professions working in this sector. The coalition works collaboratively with other stakeholder groups to ensure that the quality of professional services are preserved, and appropriate levels of remuneration provided for professional services. Social work fees are not listed in the Professional Services Fee Guideline and the insurance industry frequently interprets our profession's omission from the Guideline as an indication that social work practice was unregulated. OASW has attempted to work with FSCO and IBC to inform and educate the insurance sector regarding the regulatory status of our profession and appropriate fees for social work services in this sector. View OASW's recommended fee rate below.

It is important to note that in 2006, amendments to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS), Ontario Regulation 54105, S.38, added social work to the list of regulated health care professionals recognized in the Insurance Act. As a result of this change, social workers were able to complete and sign off on the OCF-22 Form (Approval of Assessment) and complete but not sign off on the OCF-18 Form (Treatment Plan) but not the OCF-18, which could only be signed by professionals listed in the regulation as a "health practitioner". However, in September 2010 regulatory changes to the Insurance Act  came into effect combining the OCF-22 with the OCF-18, and created one form. While Social workers are will still be able to complete the assessment/treatment portions of the new OCF-18 are not be able to certify the form. Certification now requires the signature of a "health practitioner".

On August 10, 2012, OASW made a written submission in response to the Superintendent's Report on the Definition of "Catastrophic Impairment" in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule of the Insurance Actpublished in December 2011 (made available to the public in June 2012). The stated intention of the proposed amendments to the definition "are to improve the fairness, accuracy and predictability of the process for determining catastrophic impairments by introducing elements of evidence- based medicine into the Ontario automobile insurance system". OASW restricted its response to four recommendations made by the Superintendent, that, if implemented in their current form, we believe will in fact serve to impede consumers' who are seriously injured access to significant medical, rehabilitation and care benefits under the SABS. To access OASW's response, view Auto Insurance Submission Re: Superintendent's Report December 2011 below. We would like to recognize and thank the following OASW members for their efforts in making this response possible: Kim Doogan for her expertise and leadership as the primary author of this submission and Marla Feldman and Carl Lokko for reviewing and providing feedback and content to enhance the document.


Resources:
  • Q & A document to address questions and promote the regulatory status of social workers in the MVA Sector. (PDF - MVA Auto Insurance Website Q&A 2014 attached).
  • Recommended Hourly Rates for Social Work Services in the Motor Vehicle Accident Sector (attached)
  • Role Statement and Procedures for Social Workers in the MVA Sector (attached)
    • The Role Statement and Procedures for Social Workers to Guide Assessments and Treatment in Auto Insurance Sector" was developed for our members who provide assessment and treatment under the Insurance Act, as well as for those who conduct insurer examinations, within the motor vehicle accident sector. The purpose of the role statement and procedures is three-fold:
      • To respond to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario's (FSCO) Statement of Priorities (June 2010) in which they asked all professions with members working in this sector to develop qualifications for those conducting insurer exams.
      • To outline the various roles that social workers play in working with individuals and families who have ongoing psychosocial issues related to disability following a motor vehicle accident (MVA), and
      • To articulate the required skills and knowledge necessary to fulfill these roles.
    • OASW wishes to thank members who responded to a request to contribute to this document, which could not have been developed without their knowledge, expertise, wisdom and commitment.  
  • Virtual Networking Group for Social Workers in Auto Insurance-MVA Sector - If you wish to join the OASW virtual group for social workers in the MVA sector, contact Anna @ membership2@oasw.org
  • Join a roster of social workers qualified to conduct Insurer Examinations - visit www.FindASocialWorker.ca
  • Voluntary Guidelines for Social Workers Who Provide Insurer Examination Assessments:
    A working group comprised of Marla Feldman, Carol Moore and Ruth Cummins developed the following documents:
    • OASW Competency Profile for Social Workers, Conducting Insurer Examinations (IEs), (effective January 1, 2012).
    • OASW Voluntary Assessment Guidelines for Social Workers Conducting Insurer Examinations (IEs) (effective January 1, 2012).
      • These documents were distributed to members for input and review.
  • Voluntary Guidelines for Social Workers Providing Assessments and Treatment:
    • Voluntary Guidelines were developed for social workers who provide assessments and treat clients. The documents include:
      • Proposed Content of a Social Work Assessment Report
      • Proposed Content of a Social Work Treatment Report
      • Social Work Treatment Principles to Guide Intervention and Report
      • How to Use This Document.
    • A committee of OASW members reviewed and provided input to the final documents.  They included: Kim Doogan, Valerie Bourne, Reva Katz and Dawn Zivanovich.    
  • Resources for Social Workers Providing Services Under SABS (Statutory Accident Benefit Schedule)
    • OASW has worked with IBC (Insurance Bureau of Canada), HCAI (Health Claims for Auto Insurance) and CIHI (Canadian Institute for Health Information) to develop coding lists which are relevant for the practice of social work with accident victims who are receiving benefits under SABS. These new resources have been finalized and received approval by CIHI to be circulated to our membership and posted on the OASW website.  The ICD-10 code list refers to common problems that may be identified by a social worker in the assessment and ongoing treatment of a client. Problem codes are required to complete Part 7 (Injury and Sequela Information) of an OCF-18 (Treatment Plan). The CCI code list refers to interventions that may be offered by social workers in their assessment, treatment and case management services for clients. These codes also reflect interventions which are administrative in nature and assist the social worker to manage the overall service provision. These codes are required to complete Part 12 of an OCF-18 or Part 7 of an OCF-22 (Application for Approval of an Assessment or Examination). These code lists have been developed with significant input from social workers who provide services for this client group and IBC and reflect what is commonly and currently used in practice. The code lists are works in progress and will be updated as the need arises.
      • Code Lists:
        • MVA Social Work Rx Codes - January 2010 (PDF below).
        • MVA Social Work Problem Codes - January 2010 (PDF below).
    • Social workers are able to use any ICD-10 or CCI codes and may need to refer to CIHI (www.cihi.ca) to locate an appropriate or specific problem or intervention code. Guidelines for Using ICD-10, CCI and GAP Codes have also been created specific to our profession and the services we provide. The document will assist social workers to fill in OCF-18 and 22 forms correctly and avoid some common "glitches" which can slow down the process for form approval. To download, see Guidelines attached below.
  • OASW letter on regulatory status of social workers - August 2008 (attached).

Hospital-Based Health Care 

OASW plays an active role in responding to issues that have implications for social work practice within hospital-based health care. OASW's Health Care Advisory Group continues to monitor changes in the funding and delivery of social work services within hospitals and community-based health care services. This information has been used to inform advocacy positions taken by the Association on health care issues, particularly as they relate to the provision of social work services and emerging roles for social workers.

Overview of the Health Care Advisory Group Activities/Initiatives:

  • Advocacy with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) related to amendments to regulations in the Long-Term Care Homes Act (2007), which came into effect in July 2010, and codified the existing policy that stipulated that the role of LTC placement coordinators be assumed by Community Care Access Centres (CCACs), a role that CCACs had previously been delegated to hospital-based social workers; a major thrust of OASW's advocacy focused on the need for the Ministry, the Local Health Integrated Networks (LHINs) and CCACS to clarify and address the confusion surrounding the parameters of the expanded CCAC role as it related to the ongoing role of social workers with patients with complex care needs awaiting discharge form hospital;
  • Ongoing advocacy for the inclusion of social workers in the Health Force Ontario Allied Health Professional Development Fund (an educational fund available to allied health professions who are regulated under the Regulated Health Professions Act and with whom social workers serve on interdisciplinary teams). A role for social workers within this sector was published to highlight core social work skills and to articulate ways in which social work adds value to the mission and goals of the hospital;
  • Participated in the consultation with the MOHLTC Lead for Ontario Seniors Strategy, at which time we promoted the role of social workers in providing services to the frail elderly and their caregivers, especially as members of inter-professional teams in the "House Calls" initiative;
  • Updated OASW's 2005 role statement for social workers working in hospital-based services; and
  • Updated OASW's 2005 role statement for social workers working in primary health care expanding from its current focus on Family Health Teams to encompass Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics and Community Health Centres. 

For more information on recent group activities, visit Health Care Advisory Group.



Primary Health Care


Social workers play an important role in interdisciplinary collaborations related to primary health care initiatives. 
To profile the role of social work in primary health care, OASW developed a paper in partnership with the Ontario College of Family Physicians and the Ontario Home Care Association to examine and provide information about the key role that social workers play in the realization of a successful Family Health Team. In the fall of 2005, a role statement was developed and distributed to social workers in order to clarify the core skills that social workers bring to interprofessional work on Family Health Teams.

Role Statement: Primary Health Care 2013 (attached)
Virtual Networking Group: Family Health Teams - Contact Anna @ membership2@oasw.org to join the Virtual Networking Group.