Social Work Solutions Canada is committed to serving our clientele
and our community. The privacy of our clients, our associates and
the ethical standard of our social work profession is a top priority.
The ethical standards and guidance of the Ontario College of Social
Workers and Social Services Workers (“The College”) have been
reviewed in compiling this policy; in addition to applicable privacy
and other legislation, as they apply to the use of communication
technologies in our practice.
Social Work Solutions Canada realizes that in our modern world
communication with our clientele may encompass broad electronic
forums for a variety of purposes such as, social media platforms,
email and texting to share information, scheduling appointments,
maintain documentation and/or invoice clients. We strive to ensure
that the privacy of clients’ health information is maintained in each
instance and remind our clientele that the security of digital
communication is not a certainty. Clients are encouraged to
limit/avoid personal health information shared in these
We are committed to connecting with our clients and our community
in the most effective manner possible.
We do use telephone, email, fax, private video conferencing
(including but not limited to Zoom (see notation at end of this post
on end to end encryption for Zoom) and text and social media
platforms (including but not limited to: Twitter, Facebook,
Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and SnapChat) to connect with the
At no time is our private video conferencing to be recorded by a
client or an associate for any reason. All efforts to ensure end to
end encryption of video conferencing are made and clients will be
supported to ensure confidentiality and safety on their ends as well.
A digital communications crisis plan is clearly established between
our social workers and our clients in advance of these sessions.
Before providing clinical services via communication technology, our
associates determine if an in-person initial assessment is required
and whether remote services are appropriate. A plan to verify
identity online is established between the client and our associates.
Clinical notes of our sessions will be maintained in the same manner
as an in-person session. We have a clear policy that we will
endeavour to respond to client messages received via communication
technologies within 48 hours of receiving them.
We explain to our clients the limits of confidentiality in using
communication technologies and clearly articulate to our clients our
policies and practices in relation to seeking information about them
We are transparent with our clients about what (if any) information
will be communicated outside of clinical sessions via communication
technology. We are bound to report any information to authorities
that would constitute an immediate threat to the safety of the client
or any person. Otherwise, confidentiality is strictly maintained.
We clearly articulate to clients how often we check messages
received via communication technology and urge all clients that if
they are in a crisis situation to call 911 for immediate assistance or
attend their local emergency room.
Our Social Work Solutions Canada social media sites are open to the
public. All are welcome to follow the information posted and engage
in comments or discussions. All efforts are made to ensure that if
clients are engaged in online dialogue on our social media platforms
that their confidentiality about their client status is not revealed.
We do not solicit testimonials or endorsements on our social media
sites. If a client does voluntarily leave a testimonial or endorsement
on our social media sites, our associates follow up with our clients
to ensure that they are comfortable with their post being in a public
space. If they did not realize they were posting publicly, the post is
Notes: re Enabling Zoom end to end encryption
Zoom offers a basic free account that most people are using. We
encourage you to sign up for a basic free account in order to enable
end to end encryption. Our associates have their encryption turned on.
The instructions to turn encryption are below:
1. Sign into the Zoom web portal with your account credentials to
edit account settings.
2. Click Account Management > Account Settings.
3. Navigate to the Require Encryption for 3rd Party Endpoints
(H323/SIP) setting under In Meeting (Basic) and click the toggle
to enable it. Choose Turn On
To learn more about how to have an effective and safe Zoom video conferencing experience click on this article: