Complaint Process - Information for Registered Social Workers

What happens when someone complains about my practice?

If you, as a Registered Social Worker, are the subject of a complaint, the SASW recommends that you cooperate fully with the investigation process of the Professional Conduct Committee. Please provide all of the information requested in a timely fashion. There is a 30 day deadline from the time you are notified in writing of the complaint, for your initial response to be received by SASW. Time extensions can be provided in exceptional circumstances. Failure to respond to the complaint in writing within the time required is, in and of itself, an act of unprofessional conduct.

Will I be notified if there is a complaint against me?

Registered Social Workers will be notified if there is a complaint against them. You will be provided with a written notice of the complaint and given details of the matter. A copy of the original letter of complaint will be provided. You will be asked to respond to the complaint within 30 days of receiving the letter from the SASW Professional Conduct Committee.

You may also be asked to meet with an investigator from the Professional Conduct Committee. If you are asked to attend an interview, the Professional Conduct Committee investigator may seek your permission to audiotape the interview so that it may be reviewed later. You may bring a support person or legal counsel to any Professional Conduct Committee interviews should you wish.

Other parties may also be contacted for further information about the complaint if that is deemed necessary during the investigation.

What are my rights as a Registered Social Worker if someone complaints about my practice?

If someone makes a complaint about you to SASW, you have the right to know the case against you. You have the right to respond to the allegations and to be represented by legal counsel if you choose. If the complaint is directed to the Discipline Committee, you have the right to be notified of the hearing and to participate in that process.

Should I get a lawyer?

This is entirely up to the Registered Social Worker. Some RSW's chose to engage legal counsel as soon as a complaint is made against them. Others prefer to represent themselves during the complaint process.

Does SASW, as the professional organization , provide me with any support through the complaint/discipline process?

SASW will ensure that member RSW's who are the subject of complaints are treated fairly and respectfully during the course of the complaint/discipline process.. SASW will provide as much information as is necessary to aid you in responding to a complaint.

However, SASW is the regulatory body for Registered Social Workers in Saskatchewan and is legislatively charged with the protection of the public. The role of SASW is to receive, investigate and adjudicate complaints in the public interest .The public interest is best served when the process supports neither the RSW or the complainant, but ensures that the principles of natural justice are followed.

As the RSW being complained about, can I include information in my response to the complaint that would otherwise be considered confidential?

If the individual making the complaint about you is your client, the making of the complaint constitutes the individual's consent to the release of his or her confidential information by you, to SASW, to respond to the complaint.