Connection Magazine Spring 2019 Volume 2 Issue 2 & 2018 NSCSW Annual Report

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C NNECTIONS Spring 2019 | Volume 2, Issue 2

Opening Doors for Social Work Advocacy & Leadership



Keys to Resilience, Healing, and Trauma-Informed Social Work Practice Friday May 24 & Saturday May 25, 2019 Delta Hotels by Marriott Dartmouth Join us for two days of learning, connection and growth at the College’s 2019 Spring Conference and Annual General Meeting. We’re bringing Nova Scotia’s social work community together to connect, collaborate, and share knowledge. Visit Questions? Contact Annemieke Vink at



Spring 2019 | Volume 2, Issue 2

Published three times a year by the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers 1888 Brunswick Street, Suite 700 Halifax, NS B3J 3J8

CREATIVE DIRECTION & DESIGN: Brittany Pickrem, Branding & Design EDITORIAL COMMITTEE: Harold Beals (Associate, Retired) Jodi Butler (RSW)

Phone: 902.429.7799 Fax: 902.429.7650

Bessie Harris (Associate, Retired) Laurie Ogilvie (Student) Shalyse Sangster (SWC)


Alec Stratford (RSW, College Staff) Linda Turner (RSW)

Connection is © Copyright 2019 by the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers,

Annemieke Vink (RSW, College Staff) Rebecca Faria (College Staff)

and also reserves copyright for all articles. Reproduction without written permission from the publisher is not allowed.

ADVERTISING IN CONNECTION: To advertise please contact the College’s Communication Coordinator Rebecca Faria at

Next issue: Fall 2019 See advertising rates at CONNECT WITH THE COLLEGE: @NSCSW





TABLE OF CONTENTS Spring 2019 | Volume 2, Issue 2





Opening doors for social work advocacy & leadership

The voice of social work





Building Connection

Supporting private practitioners





Learning from leaders in social work

A map for the road less travelled








Applying a social justice lens to mental health

A framework to build Nova Scotia’s future, together

A new life for candidacy

SPOTLIGHT Spotlight on our membership

Spring 2019 | Connection 5

Opening doors for social work advocacy and leadership

Friends, I am delighted to share the work that the College achieved in 2018. Through the work of our six amazing staff and nearly 100 volunteers we have achieved a great deal during the past year. At last year’s AGM, the membership voted to adopt an ambitious five-year strategic plan aimed at laying the foundation for the new College of Social Workers in order to protect the public while guiding the profession towards a high achievement of ethical standards. In our first year of implementation I feel incredibly proud of what we have achieved. Our goal to regulate the profession by ensuring the highest standards of professional and ethical social work practice for the people of Nova Scotia is off to a good start. Last year we launched and revamped the Candidacy Mentorship Program (read about it on page 24), providing clarity and support through the new webpage which went live in October. The new design features activities, resources, and a framework to achieve the objectives of the program. We were able to embed the NSCSW Standards of Practice into our website, making them more searchable and easier to find for both social workers and members of the public. Through the work of our communication team we also updated and revamped the complaint section on our website to support both members of the public and the College, and to build an understanding of the process and what is to be expected. To support both the candidacy and complaints processes we have been building the capacity of the new NSCSW database, which launched in the summer of 2018, towards a more streamlined digital reporting system. The new database, which certainly had glitches upon launch, was well received by members who reported that it was far more intuitive and easier to use then the old system.

Alec Stratford, MSW, RSW Registrar/Executive Director

We have also made strides towards greater labour mobility. At a national level, all provinces have agreed to implement a tele-practice policy, allowing social workers to practice through phone and internet services with greater ease. We continue to see discussion with our Atlantic neighbours towards a similar agreement to ensure physical mobility throughout the Atlantic provinces. Our goal to become a recognized leader in advocacy and social justice working to protect Nova Scotians has also taken big steps forward. Over the last year the NSCSWÂ has committed itself to working with the progressive community to use scholarly research, public education, and advocacy to promote discussion and pose substantive questions that are central to the political dialogue in Nova Scotia. As an organization, our goal is to provide new ways to understand social issues and offer political positions that are in solidarity

6 Connection | January 2018




We brought professional HALIFAX

development to communities across the province in 2018



with the stories of the marginalized. In this way, we believe we will be effective at achieving our legislated mandate to advocate for the development, enhancement, and promotion of policies to improve social conditions and promote social justice. As social workers, we have the tools, vision, and values to support this change. Our strategy involves four interconnected projects: • By building a social policy framework, which you can read more about in the Social Policy Committee’s story (page 22). • Through our child protection advocacy; in 2018 we built an advisory committee that is working towards the goal of mobilizing community voices to raise political and public discourse on the essential role of child protection in Nova Scotia, in order to ensure that child protection is a central platform issue in the next provincial election. • Through our mental health care advocacy which you can read more about in the Social Justice Committee story (page 20).

• Through the creation of the Nova Scotia Action Coalition for Community Wellbeing, which mobilizes community members dedicated to working strategically and collaboratively towards community wellbeing and a better quality of life for everyone. The Coalition exists to connect a community of action-oriented organizations and people who are committed to social inclusion and building a Nova Scotia where no one lives in poverty. Evidence of success can already be seen. The College’s voice was featured in 15 different media stories in 2018. Our goal for Nova Scotians to value social work knowledge, experience and training also has had success. Our primary tool for connecting with the public has been our social media platforms and Connection magazine. Our reach on social platforms has increased; on Twitter we increased our followers by 21.3%, and by 25.3% on our Facebook page. We continue to see Nova Scotians engage with the values, knowledge and experience we share through stories, blogs and images.

Spring 2019 | Connection 7

Connection is a core way to share our stories and struggles, and to celebrate our profession. It illustrates the realities and challenges that social workers face, promotes the profession’s passionate work, and brings stories from our community to life. We welcome all submissions that relate to the social work profession (read the Editorial Committee’s story on page 12 to learn more). This full-colour digital magazine is distributed to social workers, government, community & advocacy groups and more, and is produced three times during a calendar year in the fall, winter & spring. The three issues of Connection we produced in 2018 were read by an average of 940 people, with each issue growing in readership. Our goal of becoming a centre for social work resources, professional development, ethical consultations, research and acts as the collective voice for social work is also well on its way. We offered a record number of trainings across the province last year, including a very well-received conference on Innovation in Social Work Practice which saw close to 170 participants. Last year we also started the process of building a full slate of diverse training opportunities to be delivered across the province (see Professional Development Committee’s story on page 16). Working with the social work community we have built 18 opportunities that we are able to offer at discounted rates to members, and that we believe are aligned with training wishes and needs of social workers across the province. We also started work on understanding the impacts of vicarious trauma and burnout on social workers. It is our goal to provide tools for the use of employers and social workers, to create greater well-being. Our goal to be responsible, accountable and transparent with our members has also seen efforts to ensure that communication is timely, engagement is authentic and discussions are robust. Throughout 2018 we continued to use the bi-weekly newsletter and our blog to communicate with members on central issues regarding the regulation of the profession and on our advocacy efforts. The Council of the College also completed a governance review in 2018; Council has restructured itself to ensure effectiveness in governance while taking steps to ensure that council members have the time and capacity to be engaging with members in their areas. I also continued my social work month tour, engaging with social workers around the work of the College and asking for feedback and guidance on our strategic plan. I remain proud of the work achieved by the College in 2018 and feel incredibly privileged to be engaging with the public on behalf of our over 2000 members.

8 Connection | Spring 2019

The Voice of Social Work As part of our work towards our strategic goals, we’ve been active in public discourse about issues that matter, including reaching out to media. We advocate for policy changes that improve social conditions, challenge injustice, and value diversity in Nova Scotia.

Social workers work in solidarity with vulnerable populations to address intrapersonal issues and to empathetically connect with clients on the impacts of structural issues affecting their lives. … Frontline social workers are going above and beyond their duties to try and hold the system together. They are regulated to engage with the most vulnerable people in our province and have the knowledge and skills to competently perform assessments, interventions, negotiations, mediations, advocacy, and evaluations. They are trained in inter-professional practice, community collaboration and teamwork. Currently, they do not have the resources and the tools needed to help keep children safe in their homes.

Op-ed: The Nova Scotia budget – Our vulnerable children, youth and families deserve better Alec Stratford, Nova Scotia Advocate, March 23, 20188

… even the most ethical, empathic and altruistic social worker cannot begin to keep children safe in Nova Scotia without the fundamental tools to do so. Without these tools, social workers often find themselves facing the seemingly impossible scenarios of trying to keep children safe. It is no wonder so many social workers are facing record levels of burnout. This is the equivalent of asking a doctor to perform a surgery without the proper surgical tools, medical supports or hospital infrastructure, or asking a highway worker to build a highway without bulldozers and shovels.

Op-ed: Social workers often face impossible tasks Alec Stratford Chronicle Herald, January 12, 2018

Pushing for more bureaucracy within the education system over local decision

The head of the Nova Scotia College of

making will be used to hold the education

Social Workers says a national report is

system accountable to the bottom line,

shining a light on the gruelling conditions

rather than creating a student centric

faced by professionals working in child

lens that can adapt to the changing

welfare in this province. … The report also

needs of communities. Social workers

outlined how those demanding caseloads,

have experienced firsthand the negative

the complexity of the issues faced by

outcomes of a centralized administrative

families and an “unsupportive work

system. The transformation of both the

environment” lead to vicarious trauma,

child protection system and health care

burnout and high turnover. Alec Stratford,

system increased social worker caseloads,

executive director and registrar of the Nova

created a scarcity of resources and a

Scotia College of Social Workers, said the

failure of system administrators to truly

report’s conclusions are all too familiar.

hear community voices.

Media release: Nova Scotia social workers stand with teachers

Social workers say report on brutal workload in child-welfare

February 27, 2018

system rings true in Nova Scotia Yvette d’Entremont, StarMetro Halifax, August 16, 2018

Spring 2019 | Connection 9


New private practitioners, Registered Social Workers, and Social Worker Candidates PRIVATE PRACTITIONERS Afolake Awoyiga Karla Bond Erin Dalton Karen Doyle Steven Gates Penny Gill Shelina Gordon Brandy Gryshik Robyn Jackman Maria MacDonald Denise Robichaud Conor Ryan Maria Shaheen Ashley Spinney Andrea Weyman-Hickman Lisa Wiggens



Brett Cameron Tamara Chapman Robert Clements David Demetre

Joanne Abbott Katie Brousseau Jamie Campbell Linda Clarke

Denis Dube Matthew Gough Kathy Gregory Shannon Hardy Sheena Jamieson Michelle LeBrun Emily MacArthur Nicole MacFarlane Christine Meagher Chantal Michaud Deborah Nichols Jennifer Park Beth Reilly Kathleen Scrine Shawn Wood

Cathy Collin Mark Culligan Kaitrin Doll Jena Given Meaghan Goudey Cassaundra Henske Danielle Hodges Justin Ju Alexandra MacKinnon Katelyn MacLean Jenna McCulley April Peckham Leah Watson

Join the conversation


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To view all copies of Connection Magazine visit

12 Connection | Spring 2019


Connection was introduced in its original form 52 years ago, shortly after the creation of our organization in 1963. The first issue of the newsletter was produced in 1966, with the goal of providing a connection between the organization and its members, the social workers of Nova Scotia. One of the first editors, Robert Doyle, outlined the beginning of editorial policy for the newsletter by eloquently stating:

“It could be used to experiment, to test out our ideas, to innovate. It could provide useful information to the Association members. Above all, it should represent our collective effort”.

The first issue of the new magazine format of Connection was published in October 2017 and is a radical change from the previous formats used over the past five decades. It began as a vehicle to connect the new organization and its members, and what we see now is a full-coloured professional digital magazine, comparable to that of any professional body within the country. It still functions as a means of connecting members to the College, but also to our colleagues in academia and in other professions. This has been made possible by our innovative staff and editorial committee, our former promotions coordinator Collette Deschenes, and the creative direction of a local company, Brittany Pickrem Branding & Design. Each issue is available on the College’s

website to read and download, with a select number of hard copies available to select members, government, community and advocacy groups. We have established six subject areas with editorial guidelines to assist contributors in deciding to write an article for Connection. The topics include Ethics in Action; Social Justice; Private Practice; Diverse Communities; Research; and a Social Worker Spotlight (to celebrate the often untold stories of social workers doing great things). There is also an advertising policy for organizations and others who wish to communicate their message and connect with the province’s over 2000 social workers. Advertising rates are dependent on the amount of space requested, with an additional discount for members. Over the next year we will be looking for new committee members to join the ongoing development of the magazine and select stories and themes to pursue. We look forward to publishing book reviews; research by Dalhousie School of Social Work faculty and students; social work perspectives from the Acadian, African Nova Scotian and indigenous communities; military social work stories, and more.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Harold Beals (Chair), Alec Stratford (staff), Bessie Harris, Annemieke Vink (staff), Shalyse Sangster (Co-Chair), Laurie Ogilvie (student), Linda Turner, Jodi Butler, Collette Deschenes (staff)

Contribute to Connection Magazine Have something to say to Nova Scotia social workers? Visit the College website for editorial guidelines, advertising rates, and more:

Spring 2019 | Connection 13


This year, the private practice committee worked diligently on the task set before us at the AGM in May 2018. We also held an informal gathering of social workers in private practice at the conference to hear their priorities for our work as a committee. Three main themes evolved from this discussion which also guided our work: 1. Advocacy efforts to have MSW services equally recognized in employee’s health insurance plans, 2. for the College to set a recommended rate of service, and 3. to develop a community of support. When we resumed our meetings in the fall, we knew we had a lot of work to do. Council changed the terms of reference for our committee so that one no longer needed an MSW or PhD to be a member, and two new members joined us in the fall. Also, Pam replaced Tonya as co-chair of the committee in November 2018 after Tonya graciously stayed on as chair past her term. Here are some highlights of where are, so far, on this work:

There was a lot to think about and consider. We wanted to develop recommendations that were fair, reasonable, promoted our profession, and served first and foremost to protect the public. The first thing that became abundantly clear was a problem with language. Our Act defines social work private practice as “self-employment.” However everyone, including our committee, was using the terms private practice and clinical practice interchangeably. We surveyed the membership for feedback on a number of issues. As a committee, there was agreement that there was not a need to further regulate social workers who want to be in private practice/self-employed. This led to discussions and debates on regulation regarding clinical social work. A draft clinical registration policy was created as well as a draft definition of clinical social work. One of our committee members also sat the ASWB exam. Alec wrote a discussion piece for our newsletter and he has been gathering lots of feedback from the membership over the winter and spring. A policy paper has been written for the AGM, where you will find our recommendations on this issue.

AGM 2019 At the AGM in 2018, the private practice committee was tasked with the following: “the membership directs the College’s Private Practice Committee to continue further considerations for this bylaw change to section 32 (1)b outlining the private practice requirements. As part of deliberations, the committee will bring a specific recommendation with detailed rationale to members at the next AGM in 2019.”

14 Connection | Spring 2019

INSURANCE EQUITY Through our research and discussions, it has become clear that most insurance companies will include social work on their plans. The gap is when the employer purchases a plan, whether they include social work as a paraprofessional or not in the package they select. The goal of our advocacy work is to increase community access to MSW services by advocating that social work be included equal to other health professionals.

To that end, we have developed a spectrum of allies which identifies those employers in the province who range from active supporters to active opponents. And most recently the college’s communication coordinator has joined our efforts and is helping us develop a communication strategy to target those employers who may not yet see what a great service is waiting for their employees.

RECOMMENDED RATE: Members in private practice requested a recommended rate. A recommended rate for a profession allows insurance companies to set reimbursement rates for their members, provides those new to setting up their own practice a guideline for setting their fees, and it promotes the professionalism of social work. This rate covers hours of work when outside of direct therapy (which as social workers we do a lot more of than other professions), income tax, professional development, sick time, vacation time, health coverage, rent/overhead, and other expenses. We reviewed the rates for MSW services across the country and across different disciplines. We also had feedback from our networking meeting in May 2018. After much research and debate we are bringing to the AGM a proposal that the College set a recommended rate of $160/session. This will be voted on by the membership.

COMMUNITY OF SUPPORT Unfortunately, there has not been as much time to work on this as we would have liked. We are just now moving towards developing a private practice portal on the NSCSW website. We would like to be able to share professional development opportunities, information and support for anyone starting their own practice, networking opportunities and more as this idea develops. We look forward to another informal gathering of MSWs working in private practice at the conference this year to update you on the committee’s work and get your input.

The private practice committee is made up of a great group of hard-working social workers from across the province who graciously volunteer their time towards these important endeavors. Our meetings can get pretty lively, as you can imagine, but they are also thought-provoking, thoughtful and innovative. It’s a privilege to work on these issues alongside such caring, professional and experienced social workers.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Pam Roberts (Chair), Nelda Armour, Annemieke Vink (staff), April Munro-Woods, Beth Toomey, Denise Robichaud, Heidi Sturgeon, Jeff Karabanow, Jen Morris, Jennifer Van Kessel, Neal Henderson, Tonya Grant

Spring 2019 | Connection 15

16 Connection | Spring 2019


The mission of the Professional Development Committee is to continue thinking outside the box to create opportunities that will challenge, engage, strengthen and expand the knowledge base of our membership. By continually challenging the membership, we will have the opportunity to meet the everchanging needs of our population.

If we continue to build opportunities for our membership, we will continue to grow and become stronger as a collective. I am proud of the dedication of past and present members, and I look forward to continuing to think outside the box.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS: To this effect, our committee took on a new challenge: seek out and review professional development opportunities, and make them available to members in their own regions. This new venture has already proven its worth in gold. Thanks to the committee’s hard work, for the first time ever social workers will be able to complete their professional development hours entirely from opportunities provided by the College. Delivery of these opportunities has already begun, and there are so many great topics still on the horizon for the rest of 2019.

April Munro-Wood (Chair), Holly Meuse (Co-Chair), Craig Besaw, Mary Burey, Brandy Gryshik, Crystal Hill, Helen Luedee, Claire Sampson-MacDonald, Joanne Sulman, Annemieke Vink (staff liaison)

This year’s spring conference, Keys to Resilience, Healing and Trauma Informed Social Work Practice, has been a labour of love for the committee. So many wonderful members came forward wanting to participate. It’s going to be an exciting two days.

With each new year, our committee is challenged to provide fresh, new, innovative topics relevant to the practice of social work.

Our goals are to showcase social workers as leaders in their various fields, and to offer learning opportunities that align with the topics social workers have identified in past survey results as being most relevant to their practice.

Spring 2019 | Connection 17


The anticipated decriminalization of medical assistance in dying led to the formation of a NSCSW Professional Standards Committee to develop guidelines for social workers in Nova Scotia. The College recognized the importance and highly polarized nature of this legislation would require social workers in the province to have guidance to work within the confines of MAiD. The committee was formed in June 2017, shortly after the passing of federal legislation in June 2016 allowing eligible adults to request medical assistance in dying. The aim of the committee was to create clear and comprehensive guidelines that reflected the standards of practice and code of ethics of social workers in Nova Scotia.

18 Connection | Spring 2019

Early in our initial research, committee members identified that both Alberta and Manitoba were leading the way for medical assistance in dying. We carefully reviewed other provinces’ information for their MAiD standards of practice and their guidelines, along with an examination of our own Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics to examine whether and how MAiD fit within our guidelines of practice. Terms of reference were approved and the project plan slowly evolved. The committee was diverse and energetic. We had social workers working in various capacities — including adult protection and acute care - across the province from Eastern

Cape Breton to the South Shore. Members brought their front line experiences to the table, and contributed to engaging discussions during our monthly meetings, as numerous cases were highlighted within media reports showcasing gaps and disparities within the legislation. We heard about Cape Breton man Weldon Bona’s struggle to find a clinician to perform the service, and Audrey Parker, who was forced to have her MAiD service performed earlier than anticipated due to fears of losing capacity.

months included securing speakers, content to present, and delegating tasks for the day. John McCarthy, Medical Affairs Advisor with the NSHA, was identified as a key player within the process of MAiD, and he agreed to be the main presenter.

We followed these stories closely as our work

We on the committee left that day feeling as if we had accomplished our primary goals, and further spoke of how we could keep the discussion on MAiD moving forward. There was a lot of information teased out of those who were attending that day, including lack of education and training on capacity, why social workers have not been invited to sit at the table in terms of program development for MAiD with the NSHA, and the role Nova Scotia social workers will take in the future. As an audience, we were assured by John McCarthy that the role of social workers is one of importance within MAiD services in the province, and that we have an invaluable role to play within the context of service delivery.

unfolded, to critically reflect on our personal social work practice and the structures we worked within, including the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

Key contacts in the province who were associated with MAiD services were identified for further engagement. In June 2017, Loni Doucette, MSW, RSW, and Dr. Gordon Gubitz (neurologist) provided presentations to the committee members, showcasing how those on the front line were working within MAiD, and provided insight into how assessments are completed, gaps, and the role of social work. Each committee member played in a part in the ongoing development of the guidelines. Sections were divided up, to be reviewed, scrutinized, re-reviewed, and then assembled into a rough draft. This document would require approval from the NSCSW Council to be passed into governance. We relied heavily on referencing other provinces throughout the development process, to avoid re-inventing the wheel. Our guidelines were passed in the fall 2018, and we immediately began working towards the development of an information session to present to social workers across Nova Scotia. The committee felt that we needed to present the guidelines to social workers across the province in a constructive and meaningful way. We also knew that social workers had questions, concerns, and thoughts building up since the passing of Bill C-14, and we wanted to create a space for their voices. We continued to meet via teleconference to develop a half-day session that would be delivered in Halifax and aired live on Facebook, to allow any social worker who could not attend in person to watch online. The planning during those few

The day finally arrived. On February 9, 2019, approximately 70 social workers took time from their weekends that could have been spent with family and friends, or perhaps doing self-care, and came together at Mount Saint Vincent University.

This was also the first time that the committee had all met face-to-face. I was excited to finally be together in the same room as my fellow social workers, some of whom I had been collaborating with for over two years without ever meeting in person until that day. A bond has formed over the these years between myself, Dan, Rod, Sherry and Terri-Lynn. It didn’t seem like work; it was more like a calling. I suggest joining a committee at the College, especially for social workers who have recently begun their practice. My fellow committee members offered engaging discussions, and kept me on my toes to meet the responsibilities of my role. Yet at the end of the day, I was accountable to myself. I had to prioritize my daily work along with my assigned committee tasks, which included taking and distributing minutes. I was also offered a wealth of knowledge on the process of guideline development, and the sheer amount of blood, sweat, and tears it takes to create a document that may seem short and simple at first glance, but in reality embodies the passion, time, patience, and dedication of a group of people working towards a shared goal. Thank you to all those involved in the work of this committee.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Karla Bond (Chair), Rod McCarron, Dan Dolan, Terri Lynn Smith, Glenna Emmett-Reashor, Sherry Battiste (staff liaison).

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We know that the first step toward change is speaking up. In late 2017 and early 2018, many social workers from across Nova Scotia contacted the College to communicate concerns about the state of mental health and addiction services in our province. The issues they raised included an over-reliance on the medical model, underfunding, and an approach to services that largely ignores client-centred care and the context in which individuals live. Social workers also spoke with frustration about prioritizing late-stage treatment while downplaying critical issues like early childhood adversity, poverty, prevention and early intervention. They also expressed a sense of alienation.

Social workers know they have a vital perspective, and yet experience a sense of being devalued in the mental health workplace.

In response to these alarming concerns, the College asked the Social Justice Committee to take a close look at mental health, with a view to developing an advocacy strategy informed by social work values and focused on improving mental health in Nova Scotia. The committee eagerly adopted the challenge. As a first step it organized a symposium in Halifax in April 2018. That event brought together about fifty people - social workers, those with first voice experience and other professionals who were given the task of identifying what it would take to achieve optimal mental health in Nova Scotia. Their hard work surfaced five important principles:

20 Connection | Spring 2019

1. Prioritize funding for mental wellness, bringing it without delay to 10% of overall health spending in Nova Scotia. This would bring investment in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization. 2. Take action to address social inequities and the social determinants of health. Social workers know that mental health is about much more than medications, hospital beds and treatment sessions. It is sustained by access to nutritious food, family support, quality housing, adequate incomes and strong, healthy communities. 3. Found mental health and addictions programming and services on authentic community collaboration. People know what they need. Consultation must guide action, not platitudinous public relations exercises. 4. Ensure mental health policies, programs and services are client and family-centred. Health and illnesses are shaped by social context. Placing the client and family at the centre is good customer service, but is also the crucible for diagnostic work, treatment planning, and service development. 5. Understand mental wellness as a life-long journey, fostered by healthy communities. Wellness is not an end; there is never a fix. We need communities that sustain us as we draw our first breath and stand with us throughout the unpredictable ups and downs of life. The College, guided by the symposium experience, prepared a working document on mental health and, with Social Justice Committee support, is using it to commission research designed to build foundational evidence for an advocacy strategy. This research will look at the need for strengthening investment in mental wellness. It will explore social work’s value in the planning and delivery of mental health and addiction services. The research will also offer insights on how the evidence of our systemic connections – our social,

emotional and biological ties to families and communities – can be factored into clinical and community interventions. In the meantime, the Social Justice Committee has begun to outline an advocacy strategy that responds to a vision of a “Nova Scotia where people are known for their integrity, confidence and capacity to live creative, productive, selfdirected lives; where the social determinants of health are widely understood and have the solid financial support of government; and where collaborative, respectful client-family centred mental health services are readily accessible to everyone.”

Our committee knows, as you do, that none of this will be possible without a serious investment from all of us.

We will need partners. We need to create an intensive, province-wide conversation that involves planning and organizing media and letter-writing campaigns, community meetings, and advocating for adjustments to social work education. We will need social workers to draft letters that link mental wellness with the social determinants of health; and

to write articles that help readers understand that individuals can only be understood in the context of the families and communities in which they live. We will need you. By speaking up last year, social workers opened up a path that will help the College be a significant advocate for optimum mental health in Nova Scotia. Your voices have created a critically important goal, one that will take all of us to achieve. It will require drawing on our collaborative skills. It will challenge us to dig deeply into our understanding of systems and context, into our knowledge of the intersectionality of life. Speaking up has set the Social Justice Committee on a demanding expedition. In the months ahead, this voyage will undoubtedly require your voices again, along with your energy and courage… and your social work skills.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Jim Morton(Chair), Annemieke Vink, (staff liaison), Harold Beals, Megan MacBride, Alexa MacLean, Maggie McCulloch, Haley McIntosh, Dermot Monaghan, Juanita Paris, Valerie White

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A FRAMEWORK TO BUILD NOVA SCOTIA’S FUTURE TOGETHER A report from the Social Policy Committee During the past three decades, we’ve seen increasing globalization, the rise of neo-liberalism and unprecedented technological change affecting the labour market. Governments have enacted policies that resulted in greater inequity and a general retrenchment of the welfare state,

Policy frameworks are blueprints for achieving goals for our province; a roadmap to improve quality of life and well-being through policy.

either by explicit austerity measures or by non-decisions and lack of public investment in social infrastructure. These trends have combined to leave the most vulnerable Nova Scotians to carry the greatest burden of these polices. The Social Policy Committee has been busy over the past year building a scoping document and establishing a partnership with the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives – Nova Scotia (CCPA-NS) to build a social policy framework to address these trends and challenge the current discourse.

22 Connection | Spring 2019

Social policy frameworks are tools that guide complex decision-making, set future positive direction, and identify important intersections that impact intended and unintended outcomes of policy. The creation of this document will allow the NSCSW to utilize the Social Policy Framework to support advocacy efforts to promote health, prevent harm and proactively address government policy. It will act as a living document that serves as a guide to organize and mobilize and ensure all Nova Scotians have opportunities for wellbeing and fulfillment.

Partnering with CCPA-NS has provided the Social Policy Committee with an amazing opportunity to collaborate with the best researchers and progressive thinkers in Nova Scotia. Drawing on their incredible volume of work the Social Policy Framework will consider the causes and consequences of inequality, as well as solutions to address it. It will do so by employing an intersectional feminist lens that disaggregates and analyzes data to consider how systems of discrimination, such as colonialism and neoliberalism, can impact the combination of a person’s social or economic status and by addressing four themes;

1. ADDRESSING THE CULTURE OF AFFLUENCE The framework will examine how affluence and privilege enhance opportunities for some, discriminate against others and erode community cohesiveness. The researchers will briefly summarize secondary literature about the impacts of inequality on social issues like physical health, mental health, drug use, education, justice, social mobility, trust, community life, violence, senior and child well-being and on democracy. Through this analysis the policy framework will consider how to build a model for wealth distribution that focuses on income security and equity, and examine the role of labour market regulation in relation to income equality.

2. TOWARDS THE PUBLIC GOOD To address the need to work towards the public good, the social policy framework will consider the state of public services; public infrastructure’s ability to respond to the diverse, cultural and social needs of the people and communities whom these systems serve; and how to fill in identified gaps.

3. PARTICIPATORY COMMUNITIES The social policy framework will address what instruments and processes can be used to ensure government accountability, increase meaningful citizen participation in government policy, and advance the common good. To do this the framework will demonstrate the importance of democratic control of decision-making and the impact it has on public trust and social policy. It will explore policy approaches that support the need for diverse communities and their ability to connect and enrich well-being for all. It will consider the benefit of inclusion and celebration of the different cultural ways of knowing, and the richness that this brings to healing, wellness and access, focusing on the role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in decision making.

4. TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE The social policy framework will address the need for transformational change by critiquing the role of stop gap polices and their negative long-term outcomes. The framework will specifically focus on the effects of devaluing care in our society, and will pay particular attention to the unpaid work that is still predominantly done by women (childcare, senior care, housework) that has filled the gap in a growing crisis of care. It will explore how policy options such as minimal increases to income assistance, support for foodbanks, and investments in P3 models are designed as stop-gap, short-term solutions to larger structural problems. It will critique the role of charity as a model for social service delivery and highlight that charity models are embedded in paternalism and sympathy to relieve the suffering of others rather than agency and addressing the root causes of suffering. It will examine the need for collaborative, inclusive advocacy towards transformational change by addressing the role and impact of advocacy as a central pillar of social service delivery and for making societal change. The Social Policy Committee is very excited to bring the framework to life in July of this year. We are already busy planning a campaign that will invite social workers and the public to use the social policy framework as tool to assess the capacity of federal candidates to implement policies that lead to greater well-being.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Alicia Nolan, Andre Deszi, Jennifer Van Kessel, Laurette McGaughey, Patricia Auchnie, Cheryl Hebert, Janet Pothier, Micah MacIssac, Alec Stratford (staff)

Spring 2019 | Connection 23


It has been over two years since the Candidacy Committee’s first meeting. Now at the end of our mandate, I can only repeat Rose Scott-Lincourt’s assessment of our committee in last year’s report: “As a committee, we laughed, we re-wrote, we threw out, we wordsmithed, we teleconferenced, and we met for many Saturdays, as we built a new incarnation of a program that we are proud to present.” A major milestone came at last year’s AGM when the new Candidacy Mentorship program (CMP) was approved. This was followed by hours and weeks of work by NSCSW staff and experts/consultants to transform the new content into a user-friendly website which was launched in October 2018.

24 Connection | Spring 2019

This new website is designed to support candidates and mentors throughout the program, and includes activities, resources and learning objective examples.

Both candidates and mentors will receive support and structure as well as non-prescriptive resources (11 appendices containing activities, videos, readings, discussion questions, etc.) aimed at enhancing discussion at the same time as highlighting the link between the Social Work Act, the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Practice. Candidates

and mentors will also find practical information relating to such issues as: the regulatory requirements of the CMP, how to register, how to choose a mentor, how to write learning objectives, etc. And as of April 2019, members can now use a completely online reporting system for candidacy application and reporting. Having ‘reincarnated’ most of the candidacy program and received its approval, one more major section remained to be addressed. As a committee, we fully agreed that we needed to provide support to mentors. We were also hoping to encourage more social workers to engage in the mentoring process. The role of the mentor is highly valued. Candidacy mentors are an important link in the model for professional development within the membership of the NSCSW. It is distinct from the roles of administrative supervisors/ managers which are oriented toward agency policy and organizational demands. The mentorship process is designed to decrease professional stress and provide the candidate with nurturing conditions that complement their success and encourage self-efficacy. Mentorship is underscored by a climate of safety and trust, where candidates can develop their sense of professional identity. Again, based on adult education and life-long learning principles, we undertook the development of a mentor training program. The goal was that this program would be easily accessible to all, and practical. The program has taken the form of an online webinar (4 individual modules), that are scheduled to become available during summer 2019, and will be free for all registered social workers in Nova Scotia.

And still we brainstormed, discussed, read other mountains of articles, and consulted. Some of the content will include: • What is mentoring? What are the responsibilities of a mentor? What are the rewards of mentoring (for example, mentors can count 20 hours of annual professional development), what are its challenges? • Overview of the candidacy process: goals and objectives, available resources, reporting structure, etc. • Overview of the NSCSW website and documents such as the Social Work Act, the Code of Ethics, and the Standards of Practice • How to facilitate reflective discussions for exploring ethical dilemmas/challenging views/attitudes, etc. • Communication skills: listening and assertive communication, how to create a safe space for learning • Constructive engagement and feedback: having difficult conversations, providing effective feedback/conflict resolution and problem-solving • Conducting assessments, evaluation of candidate’s progress, engagement The mandate of the Candidacy Committee has now come to an end. However, in this changing world the social work profession is continually evolving and adapting to the needs of our communities and individuals. So also, must the CMP evolve to remain relevant to new candidates and their integration into the profession. It is therefore crucial that going forward a monitoring and evaluation process be put in place to insure the CMP remains current and responds adequately to the needs of both candidates and mentors. Watch out for the upcoming call for members for the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee for the new CMP. I truly believe we now have the tools to greatly enhance the candidacy process for both candidates and mentors. To the wonderful, dedicated, funny, brilliant members of the Candidacy Committee, to the NSCSW support staff, to all the members who responded to consultations: thank you!

COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Alphonsine Saulnier (Chair), Rose Scott-Lincourt, Brenda Boutlier, Carolyn Campbell, Daniel Clairmount, Marie Meagher, Sarah Oulton, Nicole Blanchard Segal,Battiste (right) Tonya Grant (left) Sherry Kate Matheson, Sherry Battiste (staff liaison).

Spring 2019 | Connection 25






7% Social workers by region

7% 5% 3%


Halifax 50%

South Shore 7%

Cape Breton 17%

Colechester 5%

Annapolis 8%

Cumberland 3%

North Shore 7%

Fundy Shore 3%

26 Connection | Spring 2019


Social workers completed candidacy 2018

New applications by country

Social workers by designation


India United States






1 0

Private Practitioners







Registered social workers (active)


New applications by province

Social work candidates active































2002 Total

Age of social workers




Gen X



Spring 2019 | Connection 27

SAVE THE DATE 2020 Conference and Annual General Meeting Friday May 22 & Saturday May 23, 2020 Every spring, we bring Nova Scotia’s social work community together to connect, collaborate, and share knowledge. Next year’s conference will have a mental health theme. A call for proposals will be posted to our website later this year. Questions? Contact Annemieke Vink at

Find out more at

2018 Annual Report

Contents 32

A Model for Mentorship,


Working Together to Protect

a Model for Change

the Public and Strengthen Social Work Practice


Upholding Accountability and


Building a Solid Foundation

Ethical, Professional Practice

for the Future

30 NSCSW Annual Report | 2019


Where Your Membership Fees Go


Our Budget


Auditor’s Report

Your Council Executive Officers:

Regional Representatives:

Other Representatives:

President: Ezra Wexler

Cape Breton: AndrĂŠa Shaheen

CASW Board Member: Debbie Reimer

Vice-President: Todd Leader

Cape Breton: Karla Bond

Dalhousie University School

Treasurer: Lynn Brogan

Colchester: Crystal Hill

of Social Work Faculty: Judy MacDonald

Secretary: Mercy Kasheke

Cumberland: Vacant

Dalhousie University School

Member at Large: Catherine Kehoe

Fundy Shore: Vacant

of Social Work Student: Ainslee Umlah

To connect with the President of Council

Halifax Metro: Denise Robichaud

Universite Sainte Anne Faculty:


Halifax Metro: Neal Henderson

Veronique Brideau-Cormier

North Shore: Vacant

Universite Sainte Anne Student:

South Shore: Kate Matheson

Sophie Gallant

Annapolis Valley: Laura Rodriguez

Nova Scotia Association

Board of Examiners: Chair: Tonya Grant

of Black Social Workers: Courtney Brown Indigenous Member: Holly Muese

2019 | NSCSW Annual Report 31

A model for mentorship, a model for change A message from NSCSW Council President It is my great honour to serve as the President of the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers. I do so knowing that the role of the College is to both protect the public and enhance the credibility, skills, and political engagement of social workers in the province. This is no small task; it is in fact many interconnected tasks

of those tasks. And of course, our Executive Director Registrar and his team of dedicated staff are at the forefront of the successes and challenges our college has had these past twelve months.

that take many forms, as can be seen from our strategic plan.

Summit where over two hundred individuals gathered for a full day of discussions and planning around the struggles faced by those with disabilities in this province. The attendees were comprised of a mix of politicians, professionals, government employees, family members, and those who struggle to live independently in their communities.

I am proud of the progress we have made this past year on several fronts. I point towards the work of our many volunteers sitting on committees of council, the council itself, the board of examiners, and particularly the complaints committee for the great amounts of commitment and energy they put into each

I recently participated in the Supported Housing

I was there as a service provider, but my role as president was identified by several of those in the room. They knew of the college from some of the articles that have appeared in the news and on social media. They identified social workers as key allies in forging a path forward for their loved ones and clients. Social workers were acknowledged as skilled professionals,

and I was implored to establish a role for the college in this provinces journey to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities. That social workers and the college would be viewed in such light was a clear sign to me that we have been doing something right this past year, and that we must continue moving forward.

benefits of this model to the other provinces’ regulatory bodies in the coming year so we can move from being unique to being leaders in how we prepare social workers for practice. This is a clear example of protecting the public and supporting social workers that we are doing well.

A few months ago I was in conversation with a young social worker who had moved here from British Columbia. They were telling me about the differences in social services between the provinces, and soon our conversation moved to the differences between the NS hybrid college model and the separated bodies of registrar and association in BC. I mentioned my interest in the poster campaigns the BC association has each year to raise awareness of the role of social work and promote social justice through colourful and artistic posters that are then sold as a revenue stream. Their reaction surprised me. Not only had they not heard of these campaigns, but in fact they were impressed with the candidacy model our college uses to help get social workers transitioned from social work education to social work application. All I could say was, “Great!”

Our Executive Director Registrar has been publicly advocating for better services and enhanced protection of rights for children in our province, and the effect on how Nova Scotians are thinking about social workers and the college can already be felt. We are seeing engagement on social media, via emails, and in the papers. I’ve had several social workers reach out and comment on their pride in the profession because of these actions. As we simultaneously work to protect the public and further the role of social work in the province there are more eyes looking our way.

Fortunately our logo, website, newsletter, conference, professional development, social media and Connection magazine are all great to consume, and behind it all are the clear goals of our strategic plan as we strive for meaningful outcomes. It is my great honour to serve as president of The Nova Scotia College of Social Workers. I hope you also take great pride in being a member, and being part of our growing role in the lives of Nova Scotians.

I believe our mentorship (candidacy) model is very helpful, and this interaction solidified it. I hope to work harder to demonstrate the


2018 | NSCSW Annual Report 33

Working together to protect the public and strengthen social work practice BY TONYA GRANT, RSW, MSW, NSCSW BOARD OF EXAMINERS/CHAIR

What makes social work so great in Nova Scotia is our passionate commitment to doing things collectively and collaboratively, with the College leading the way to have difficult and necessary conversations about the important work we do and how we interact with people, communities and systems. Reflecting over the work of this past year, there are many themes that clearly show up in the College’s work, just as they have shown up across one hundred years of social work practice. The themes that stand out include advocacy, connection, partnership, strong practice and the perseverance of our many volunteers to make things better for our profession, and thus for those we work with.

THIS HARD WORK GETS COMPLETED BY WORKING TOGETHER TO CREATE A STRONG VOICE AND PRESENCE IN OUR COMMUNITY. I would like to extend a huge gratitude of thanks to our wonderful NSCSW staff, Board of Examiners members, Council members, mentors and to those who sit on the member committees (Candidacy, Social Justice, Private Practice, Professional Development, Policy & Advocacy, Governance and Editorial

34 NSCSW Annual Report | 2019

Committees). Your ongoing dedication, consultation and commitment continues to build stronger social work practice across the province. A special acknowledgement to the Complaints Committee (a subcommittee of the Board of Examiners) whose members have dedicated a great deal of time, wisdom and energy to ensuring that we have a high integrity system in place to protect the public when needed. The Board of Examiners worked diligently over the past year approving and regulating social workers to varying levels of practice, and we provided numerous consultations on the College’s outstanding work. Some topics that were consulted on included: Fitness to Practice Policy, Clinical Registry Policy, Fair Registration Practice Act (FRPA), Candidacy Mentoring Program and the Atlantic Social Work Mobility Plan. The Board of Examiners also reviewed the NSCSW Private Practice Survey and the NSCSW: Vicarious Trauma, Support, & Coping Survey. It was so wonderful and helpful to hear directly from the members on these important practice issues. The level of advocacy that the NSCSW is providing for marginalized peoples through the Child Welfare on the Brink Campaign

and other partnerships with the Nova Scotia Action Coalition for Community Wellbeing is impressive. This upcoming year will bring opportunities for all of us to consult on the Canadian Association of Social Workers code of ethics that is currently under review. In our current neoliberal climate our unique and ever-adapting social work lens is needed more than ever to bridge the understanding of how social, economic and political conditions are shaping our personal, interpersonal and societal lives. Future social work history is happening now. It will be important for us to continue to collectively come together to strive for high standards of ethical social work practice whose solidarity stands with creating fair, healthy, and socially just experiences for all Nova Scotians and beyond.

BOARD OF EXAMINERS: Janet Pothier, Jack Landreville, Shireen Singer, Jeff Karabanow, Joline Comeau, Pamela Roberts, Jaqi Allan, Lynn Cheek, Fred Gasper, Government Appointees: Justin Adams, Lisandra Naranjo, Funke Salami Chair: Tonya Grant

Upholding accountability and ethical, professional social work practice It has been a busy year for the Complaints Committee. A record number of complaints were received by the Complaints Committee in 2018. Between 2012 and 2016, an average of 16 complaints were received annually. In 2017 the College received 21 complaints, jumping to 32 in 2018. Under the Social Workers Act, NSCSW is obligated to investigate every complaint, which has meant increased costs in investigations and legal services. Like all statutory bodies that affect peoples’ rights or interests, we have obligation to ensure procedural fairness – “a duty to be fair.” That means that every decision that our committee makes must have unbiased decision makers, ensures that par ticipatory rights are upheld in during various processes, and have sufficiently reviewed the files to ensure that we are building sound reasons for our designs. With the increased number of complaints, and our obligation as a statutory body, our committee has been working diligently to move all complaints processes along as effectively as we can. Complaints vary in complexity. Some are simple to resolve, while others have more complex issues that deal with fitness-to-practise issues, documentation and case notes, or

professional boundaries. To ensure that that our complaints process continues to evolve in its overall effectiveness and statutory duties, Council, staff and our committee have taken a number of steps: 1. We have added more investigators to start reviewing complaints earlier on and supporting the committee to determine the merits of the complaint quicker. 2. Council added a stipend policy for the complaints committee, to support and honour the increasing time commitment of members. Sometimes a single complaint can have up 850 pages of reading, in addition to the monthly full-day meetings. 3. Ongoing training and support for the College’s legal team. We continue to provide opportunities for our committee to train with the Association of Social Work Board’s through their educational offerings. We also continue to train in right touch regulation approaches, drawing on the expertise of the College’s legal counsel.


A look at 2018 Complaints Type

2 3 25 2

Breached the Code of Ethics Incompetence Professional Misconduct Conduct Unbecoming the Profession


25 5 0 2




3rd Party

A total of 39 complaints were processed during 2018 • Seven complaints were already in process when the year began • 32 new complaints were officially received within 2018

11 complaints were finalized • Three complaints were finalized with counsel being provided to the members • One complaint was finalized with treatment/re-education conditions imposed with the consent of the member

7 complaints were dismissed • Three were dismissed because the complainant’s identity could not be confirmed, or because they could not be contacted;


7 3 1 28

Dismissed (no grounds) Letter of Counsel Reprimand with Consent Ongoing

committee has the right to proceed with a complaint if it is withdrawn, but based on the nature of the complaint it was deemed appropriate to dismiss) • Two were dismissed because the members were found to not be in violation of their professional conduct standards; however, based on 1 of these complaints the committee did choose to write and submit a letter of concern with recommendations to the Department of Community Services • One was dismissed as being outside of the College’s jurisdiction.

Two complaints resulted in voluntary undertakings with the social worker members while these complaints are being deliberated on. 2018 Complaints Committee members: Joline Comeau (chair), Janet Pothier, Jack Landreville, Jacquelyn Allan, Lisandra Naranjo (public appointed

• One complaint was requested to be withdrawn by the complainants (the

36 NSCSW Annual Report | 2019

member), Sherry Battiste (staff), Alex Nelson (staff).

Building a solid foundation for the future NSCSW Treasurer’s Update BY LYNN BROGAN, MSW, RSW

The finances of the College reflect our evolution and transformation as we

having sufficient resources to operate the College, and having the necessary funding to

continue to regulate the profession while supporting our members and advocating for improvement to social policies and programs.

implement strategic planning and activities.

The College is a member driven organization whose revenue is generated through membership annual fees. These fees provide the financial framework for financial decisions to be made. We have all heard and understand to be true that an organization depends on the involvement and strength of its members. A thriving organization also requires the necessary funding to fulfill its mandate and realize its goals. The College is transforming and undergoing major changes to our mandate, programming and activities. Having a 5-year strategic plan gives us direction, guides our work and shapes our future. There is much work to do as we strive to ensure a high standard of social work practice by effectively regulating the profession of social work, connect and support our membership, and focus on activities that advocate for polices and programs that make a positive difference in the lives of those we serve. Our mandate is onerous, and our strategic agenda is ambitious. However, our focus and activities are necessary to serve and protect Nova Scotians, and to achieve the kind of organizational integrity and social impact that social workers come to expect. Making impactful change does require

Currently the College is in solid financial condition, though we are experiencing pressures given our renewed mandate, focus of work, strategic activities, and the fact there hasn’t been a fee increase for the past 7 years. In 2018, our revenue totaled $841,980 and our expenditures totaled $852,224. At year end, while we experienced a small deficit totaling $10,224, improvements in our financial reporting along with ongoing monitoring of our expenditures enabled us to avoid the planned transfer of $77,270 to our revenue line from our operational reserve. Our total assets as of December 31, 2018, were $1,402,974. In order to ensure financial stability within the College, we must maintain and administer operational and discipline reserves. These reserves are accessed in the event of an unexpected shortfall or discipline matter. Currently our Operational Reserve Fund is within the best practice guideline for organizations like the College (an equivalent of 3-6 months of operational reserves to cover the costs of unforeseen expenses, as well as any financial commitments). Currently our operational reserve has a balance of $497,514. Our Discipline Reserve Fund is also within policy, having a balance of $159,071. Reserve funds are separate accounts, and no funds from these accounts can be used without formal approval from Council.

Our total assets as of December 31, 2018, were $1,402.974

The College is a member driven organization whose revenue is generated through membership annual fees. These fees provide the financial framework for financial decisions to be made. An organization depends on the involvement and strength

Where your membership fees go

of its members. A thriving organization also requires the necessary funding to fulfill its mandate and realize its goals.




38 NSCSW Annual Report | 2019

Our Budget 2017 Actual

2018 Actual (Audited)

2019 Estimated

2020 Proposed









Conference and Professional Development





Interest Earned


Applications Registration/Renewal

Operational Fund/Opening Surplus $1,306.87




Accruing Revenue





Salaries and Pensions













Staff Development





Staff Travel






























Group Insurance

Other Total HR Investigation and Complaints Legal Fees Council and Committee Meeting Expenses Director's Liability Insurance Professional Magazine





AGM and Conferences





Marketing and Public Relations





Professional Development





Student and Member Bursaries














Booking Keeping





Computer Services





Online Payment Fees





Equipment Leases (Roynat)





Capital Assests

Total Program





General Insurance





Interest/bank charges














Postage Mailing, courier






















Total Admin





Total Expenditures













Professional Memberships

Rent and Taxes Internet and Telephone

Surplus Special Projects

2019 | NSCSW Annual Report 39

Independent Auditor’s Report To the members of Nova Scotia College of Social Workers

Qualified Opinion

Auditor’s Responsibility

We have audited the accompanying financial statements of Nova Scotia College of Social Workers, which comprise the statement of financial position as at December 31, 2018 and the statements of operating revenue and expenses, fund balances and cash flows for the year then ended, and a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory information.

Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements. As part of an audit in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards, we exercise professional judgment and maintain professional skepticism throughout the audit.

In our opinion, except for the effect of the matter described in the preceding paragraph, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Nova Scotia College of Social Workers as at December 31, 2018 and the results of its operations and its cash flow for the year then ended, in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for non-profit organizations.

Basis for Qualified Opinion Note 1 describes the organization accounting policy with respect to capital assets. The organization expenses all capital asset purchases rather than capitalizing and amortizing them. In this respect, these financial statements are not in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations. If the capital assets had been capitalized and amortized, the capital asset balance for the current year would have been $16,026 (2017 -$22,426), amortization for the current year would have been $6,785 (2017 - $6,464) and the closing balance of net assets would have been $638,199 (2017 - $744,129).

Management’s Responsibility for the Financial Statements Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of these financial statements in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, and for such internal controls as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error. In preparing the financial statements, management is responsible for assessing the organization’s ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing as applicable, matters relating to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless management either intends to liquidate the organization or to cease operations, or had no realistic alternative but to do so. Those charged with governance are responsible for overseeing the organization’s financial reporting process.

40 NSCSW Annual Report | 2019

• Identify and assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error, design and perform audit procedures responsive to those risks, and obtain audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion. The risk of not detecting material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion, forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control. • Obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purposes of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the organization internal control. • Evaluate the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates and related disclosures made by management. We communicate with those charged with governance regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant audit findings, including any significant deficiencies in internal control that we identify during our audit.


Statement of Financial Position DECEMBER 31, 2018 2018
















Accounts payable and accrued liabilities



Deferred revenue







Operating Fund



Operational Reserve Fund



Discipline Fund





$ 1,402,974

$ 1,460,451

Assets Operating Fund Cash Prepaid Expenses Operational Reserve Fund Discipline Fund Practice Fund Due from Operating Fund

Liabilities and Fund Balances Operating Fund

Due to Practice Fund

Practice Fund

2019 | NSCSW Annual Report 41

Statement of Operating Revenue & Expenses YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2018 Budget









Conferences and workshops





























Excess (Deficency) of Operating Revenue Over Expenses, Before Special Projects




Special Projects (Schedule 2)







Revenues Memberships Application fees

Expenses (Schedule 1) Administration Meeting expenses Regional and ABSW funds Scholarships and bursaries Personnel

Excess (Deficiency) of Operating Revenue Over Expenses

42 NSCSW Annual Report | 2019

Statement of Fund Balances YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2018 2018









$ 69,112





Transfers from Operating Fund



Transfers from Discipline Fund



Fund Balance - End of year









$ 159,071

$ 272,659

Operating Fund Fund Balance - Beginning of year Transfers to Operational Reserve and Discipline Fund

Fund Balance - End of year

Operational Reserve Fund Fund Balance - Beginning of year Interest revenue from GIC

Discipline Fund Fund Balance - Beginning of year Interest revenue from GIC Transfers from (to) Operational Reserve Fund

Fund Balance - End of year

To read the entire financial statement, visit

2019 | NSCSW Annual Report 43

2018 Annual Report