The Manitoba Association Of Social Workers

The Manitoba Association of Social Workers (MASW) is the voice of the social work profession, providing peer support, and connecting you with social workers across Canada. It educates members, as well as the public, and is in the forefront of the profession through advocacy and social action. MASW is a member of the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW).

The Manitoba Institute of Registered Social Workers (MIRSW) is the regulatory arm of the profession, responsible for certifying members and protecting the public through recognized, ethical standards of practice. It requires registrants to maintain current knowledge through education. It is a disciplinary body to investigate public complaints.

MIRSW issues a Certificate of Registration to signify that a registrant of the Institute meets recognized standards of practice, established by the Institute, and is committed to adhering to prescribed ethical standards. This entitles a member to practice as a Registered Social Worker (Travailleur Social Enregistre) and to use the initials RSW or TSE after one’s name.

The two organizations work closely together, sharing a volunteer board of directors elected by members. This board sets policies, responds to social issues, and conducts the business of the organizations. Much of the work of the Institute and the Association is carried out by committees on which members serve.

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Code Of Ethics

The Manitoba Institute of Registered Social Workers (MIRSW) is Manitoba’s professional organization for Social Workers who voluntarily apply for registration and who agree to meet professional standards of practice. The MIRSW is committed to improving and promoting the knowledge, efficiency and ability of its members to ensure that the public at all times receives the services of proficient and competent Social Workers of high ethical standards.

In order to obtain and retain registration, each Social Worker must meet certain standards of practice. MIRSW responds to ethical and practice concerns that are brought forward to them by any member of the public. The MIRSW has the authority to receive and examine concerns about unprofessional conduct amongst its members.

Examples of unprofessional conduct

that which is detrimental to the best interests of the public
that which contravenes the Code of Ethics for Social Workers (CASW, 2005) or the Manitoba Standards of Practice (2004)
that which harms, or may harm, the standing of Social Workers generally
that which displays a lack of knowledge, skill or judgment in the practice of Social Work.

If a member of the public feels that a Registered Social Worker (RSW) has conducted themselves in a manner that is unskilled or unprofessional, they can lodge a complaint with the MIRSW. This complaint will be addressed by the MIRSW’s Complaints Committee.

How to contact the MIRSW regarding unprofessional conduct

If you call us by phone with a complaint, you will be advised to submit your complaint in writing, signed and dated. If you are unable to provide a written complaint, a verbal complaint will be recorded word-for-word, in the presence of a witness, then dated and signed by the complainant.

The complaints process

The MIRSW Complaints Committee has the responsibility to investigate all inquiries into unprofessional conduct by a member of MIRSW. Committee members will review the complaint and determine whether further investigation is needed.

ALL INFORMATION IS KEPT CONFIDENTIAL.

The Discipline Committee

The Discipline Committee consists of MIRSW Board members and lay community representatives. The Committee reviews complaints and works to resolve them either by informal action, such as education, or formal action, such as correction or disciplinary action against the MIRSW member which is then made public.

Consultation

DO YOU EVER FIND YOURSELF STRUGGLING WITH ETHICAL DILEMMAS RELATED TO YOUR SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE?
For example:

Respecting a client’s confidentiality versus mandated reporting
Conflicts that may arise in a multidisciplinary setting
What actions to take when you want to further explore whether a colleague’s behavior is unethical
Conflicts that arise from providing counselling services in smaller communities
Conflicts that arise between your agency employment and your private practice.
If so, MASW/MIRSW can be a resource to you.

THE PROCESS

Return the completed form to the MASW/MIRSW office to the attention of the Executive Director.
Confidentiality is protected by removing all identifying information regarding the member and client(s) from the submitted documents.
The Chair of the PCC will assign the request to a panel of 2 or 3 committee members based on their field of expertise and/or geographical area.
The panel meets and prepares a written response that specifically addresses the member’s concerns.
The response is reviewed by the PCC Chair and, if appropriate, by the MASW/MIRSW legal counsel.
The PCC Chair sends the final consultation response to the member who requested the consultation.
It is anticipated that the turn around time from the date received at the MASW/MIRSW office and final written response will be no longer than 21 days.

NATURE OF CONSULTATIONS

Do you have ethical questions about …

Confidentiality
Conflict of Interest
Conflict with Organizational Guidelines
Clinical Records/Recording
Duty to Inform
Gift Giving
Living Wills
Professional Fees
Advertising
Referral of Clients
Responsibilities to Clients
Services to Minors
Unethical Professional Behavior
Social Justice

(The PCC does not address employer/employee labor concerns)

Role

Protection of the public

  • to develop sound and professional standards of social work practice
  • to inform the public of social work practice
  • to ensure the social work profession is accountable

Social action

  • to provide leadership and present positions on social issues which concern members.

Supporting members

  • to promote continuing education programs relating to employment and practice
  • to liaise between social work education programs and practice
  • to promote the identity of the social work profession
  • to promote networking among its members
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Why you should join!

  • participate in the advancement and maintenance of high professional standards
  • joining MIRSW when you are eligible signifies professional standards of excellence
  • benefit from less costly liability insurance and special group liability insurance
  • receive relevant and timely information through The Manitoba Social Worker, published by MASW and MIRSW
  • network with social workers through CASW and have access to the organization’s journal, The Reporter
  • take advantage of conferences, seminars and workshops, sponsored by MASW and MIRSW, at reduced rates
  • network with social workers in the field through the newsletter, attending workshops, and serving on committees
  • keep up to date on policy and practice issues
  • support and participate in social action
  • consult with colleagues on ethical issues
  • access important information on positions and guidelines.