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.
  • 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

Professional Liability Insurance Overview

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. 

Visit prolink.insure/oasw to learn more.

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

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

Coverage can be obtained for as little as $100 a year! 

Program highlights include:

  • $5 million in Professional Liability ($5 million aggregate) AND $5 million in General Liability ($5 million aggregate) for only $135 (includes $200,000 in Disciplinary Defense costs, all with no deductible);
  • Abuse coverage with a $1,000,000 limit;
  • Property Coverage is available as an option;
  • Libel and Slander coverage is included;
  • Free annual listing on Find A Social Worker Directory sponsored by PROLINK: www.FindASocialWorker.ca directory ($100 value);
  • Psychology Today directory: Free 6-Month listing ($180 value) (must be new to Psychology Today);
  • 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 www.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.
Join OASW! and Start Saving on Professional Liability Insurance today.

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). Contact Andrew from Prolink Insurance to learn more.

We remind OASW members when calling the insurance providers who have partnered with the Association, to have your OASW membership number, 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 @ [email protected].