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Private Practice Resources


Benefits and services geared to the needs of social workers in private practice include:
  • Monitoring and responding to government legislation or organizational practices that have the potential to impact on practice, such as the recent consultations related to question of whether or not psychotherapy or psychotherapists should be regulated; and inability to sign treatment forms under the Insurance Act.
  • Lobbying major insurance companies, large unions and employers to recognize social work counselling as a benefit in insurance policies and group health plans. Provision of updated information related to the status of a proposed amendment to the HST to exempt some professional services from this tax.
  • Online Communities
    • Online communities for social workers to share information, resources and  provide peer support. There are 2 online communities specific to private practice; PPB - for experienced practitioners with more than 5 years experience; and PPA for private practitioners with 5 year or less of experience.. 
  • Find A Social Worker
    • An online directory of private practitioners to promote the services you offer for a low annual rate. Free when professional liability insurance is purchased through PROLINK. 
  • Handbook on Setting Up a Private Practice
    • The intent of the Guide (Revised 2013) is to help demystify self-employment; help you determine whether self-employment is a viable option; and to provide information that is distinctively tailored to the needs of social workers wanting to better understand the components of setting up a private practice in Ontario (e.g., developing a business plan; marketing your practice; learning about different approaches to setting fees; selecting an office space; and maintaining a client base). Membership discount.
  • A Legal Guide for Social Workers, 3rd Edition (2014) by R. Solomon, Professor, Faculty of Law, and the University of Western Ontario. 
    • 190- page of highly informative information that has been tailored specifically to social work practice.  The guide has been updated and expanded, covering topics such as: Consent; Substitute Consent ; End of Life Decision-Making; Liability in Negligence; Mental Health; Criminal Justice; Civil Commitment; Record-Keeping; Confidentiality; and Disclosure.
  • Law Assist
    • Provides bilingual legal & financial referrals to OASW members for one low annual fee. Law Assist connects you to legal or financial advice at a fraction of regular lawyer fees*. Law Assist Can also refer you to a lawyer for an in-person consultation, where you may receive up to 25% off the lawyers'regular hourly rates.** For more information, visit Law Assist
  • Professional Development & Continuing Competency
    • Membership discounts on relevant, topical and/or cutting-edge continuing educational opportunities through Leading Edge Seminars, University of Toronto Facor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work Continuing Education, OASW Publications, OASW's provincial conference; webinars; and AGMs at provincial and branch levels; plus access to articles via OASW's online journal.
  • Webinars
    • Your Small Business, Getting off to a Good Start; and
    • Motivational Interviewing in Social Work Practice
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Insurance Overview


PROLINK - Professional Liability Insurance

PROLINK is the endorsed provider of Professional Liability/Errors and Omissions Liability Insurance for OASW members.  OASW has partnered with PROLINK to offer an enhanced Professional Liability Insurance Program, only available to OASW members. PROLINK is a full service insurance brokerage specializing in Association Affinity Programs for the past 20 years. 

Please visit their new website prolink.insure/oasw to learn more.

Learn about the importance of having personal errors and omissions coverage and how to
 Protecting Your Practice here.

PROLINK offers a comprehensive Insurance Program at the lowest premiums currently offered in the market place. 

Coverage can be obtained for as little as $98 a year! 


Program highlights include:

  • $3 million in Professional Liability & General Liability ($5 million aggregate) for only $128 (includes $200,000 in Disciplinary Defense costs all with no deductible);
  • Abuse coverage with a $1,000,000 limit;
  • Libel and Slander coverage is included;
  • Free annual listing on Find A Social Worker Directory sponsored by PROLINKwww.FindASocialWorker.ca directory ($100  value);
  • Psychology Today directory: Free 6-Month listing ($180 value) (must be new to Psychology Today).
  • New enhanced Free Legal Assistance Hotline.
    • Knowledgeable and courteous lawyers will provide you with information and clearly defined next steps;
    • No limits to the duration or number of calls;
    • To help minimize risk of more complicated future problems, you are encouraged to call whenever you have a legal concern;
    • For more information please visit prolink.insure/oasw and click on Legal Assistance Hotline.
  • Privacy and Security Breach consulting 
    • A data breach is a security incident in which sensitive, protected or confidential data is intentionally or unintentionally released to an un-trusted environment. Lost data may involve personally identifiable information, such as social insurance numbers, credit card or bank details, and personal health information. In the unfortunate event of a breach, the insurer and experts from IDT911 (North America's premier identity management and data risk management services provider) will help you quickly develop a clear breach response strategy and incident management plan.

To apply, become an OASW today and visit prolink.insure/oasw to get started.


Important Notice about Home Insurance for Private Practitioners

Does your home insurer know that you run your private practice out of your home? If not, your coverage could be denied. In fact, many home insurers do not offer coverage when a business is involved and therefore would refuse to offer coverage if they knew about your private practice. Essentially, if the insurance company did not have knowledge of the"risk", they can deny coverage at the time of an insurance claim. This could leave you without insurance at a time when you need it. (Example, if a fire in your office causes damage to your house, your house insurer could deny coverage. Similarly, if a client gets injured coming out of your home office and sues, coverage could be denied). To address potential gaps in coverage, OASW has arranged with Robertson Hall to offer a solution to private practitioners who employ up to two employees and see a maximum of 35 clients in their home office per week.  

Sign up for plan II of PROLINK's professional liability insurance (includes general liability coverage and office contents insurance).

Obtain home insurance, along with a $35 rider, through Prolink.

More Information Coming Soon.

We remind OASW members when calling the insurance providers who have partnered with the Association, to have your OASW membership number ready, as well as your current policy details; this information is necessary for the broker to provide you with a quote. You will find your membership number on your receipt. If you can't locate your number, please do not hesitate to contact the membership administrator @ 
membership@oasw.org.