Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ontario SW Found Guilty of Professional Misconduct: Examining Practice Issues

I find it a bit odd that a media release was sent out about the finding of misconduct, but I received one & thought this was an opportunity to examine this case. It raises some very important issues and I would encourage readers to take the time to read the full decision here.

Some of the relevant practice issues include the following:
  • Providing supervision, guidance and support to a Masters of SW student completing a field placement under the named SW;
  • Discharge care planning and assessment of patient needs as a hospital SW;
  • Failure to properly document case management work and relevant patient information pertaining to critical incidents; 
  • Failure to develop a crisis care plan for the at-risk client;
  • Failure to arrange for another social worker to follow up with the client while the SW went on holidays;
  • Lack of awareness of and familiarity with the Hospital’s policies;
  • Making arrangements and then disbursing clients funds directly to the client and failing to consider issues of potential personal liability or the liability of the Hospital; 
  • Receipt or retention of deceased client's funds and failure to turn this over to the Hospital;
  • Failure to appropriately document her client contacts and to properly maintain the clinical record at the Hospital;
TORONTO, Feb. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - The Discipline Committee of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers has found Gail T. Flintoft guilty of professional misconduct. Ms. Flintoft was found to have violated sections 2.2, 2.2.8, 2.36, 2.4, 2.10, 2.20, and 2.28 of Ontario Regulation 384/00 (Professional Misconduct) for conduct or actions in regard to 25 identified clients to whom Ms. Flintoft provided social work services, and to her failure to fulfill her responsibilities as a supervisor to a Master of Social Work student.

In its decision, the Discipline Committee ordered that Ms. Flintoft be reprimanded in person, that the fact and nature of the reprimand be recorded on the College Register, that the findings and order of the Discipline Committee (or a summary thereof) be published, with identifying information concerning Ms. Flintoft on the general newswire, additionally in any other manner necessary to alert regulators in the other provinces, and that the results of the hearing be recorded on the Register. 

A summary of the Committee's decision is available on the College's website at

About the College

The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers regulates the practice of social work and social service work in Ontario.  The College ensures professional and public accountability for the thousands of registered social workers and registered social service workers in our province. Professionals who wish to use the title "social worker" or "social service worker" can only do so if they are registered with the College.  Registration is also required if you represent yourself or hold yourself out as a "social worker" or "social service worker."

SOURCE: Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Services Workers

For further information: Glenda McDonald, M.S.W., RSW, Registrar
(416) 972-9882 ext. 201

Discipline Committee Decision Summary

The Discipline Committee of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers found that Gail T. Flintoft, Former Member, is guilty of professional misconduct in that she violated section 2.2, 2.2.8, 2.36, 2.4, 2.10, 2.20, and 2.28 of Ontario Regulation 384/00 (Professional Misconduct) made under the Social Work and Social Service Work Act, and Principles I, II, III, IV and V of the Standards of Practice Handbook (commented on Interpretations 1.1, 1.1.1, 1.2, 1.7, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.5, 2.2, 2.2.1, 2.2.8, 2.2.9, 3.2, 4.1.1, 4.1.3, 4.1.6, 4.2.1, 4.2.2, and 5.2).

Download the College's Discipline Committee Decision Summary

By publishing this summary, the College endeavours to:
  • illustrate for social workers, social service workers and members of the public, what does or does not constitute professional misconduct;
  • provide social workers and social service workers with direction about the College’s standards of practice and professional behaviour, to be applied in future, should they find themselves in similar circumstances;
  • implement the Discipline Committee’s decision; 
  • and provide social workers, social service workers and members of the public with an understanding to the College’s discipline process.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Job Postings

Regional Social Workers

Join a team committed to ensuring our rural communities are supportive environments in which children and their families may develop safely 

Location: Various rural locations throughout Yukon
Closing date: March 28, 2013
Requisition: #1879
Salary: $76,820 to $88,809 per annum

An experienced social worker, you will deliver a number of statutory and non-statutory social services including:
• child welfare, child protection, family support, child-in-care, foster care, adoption
• youth justice and probation, alternative measures
• social assistance, income support, emergency
• adult, adult protection, assistance to adults at risk of abuse
• community development

You will also be working collaboratively with First Nations, the RCMP, health units and schools among other stakeholders to provide and develop responses to community issues.

Essential Qualifications

Please submit your resume clearly demonstrating how you meet the following qualifications. Please note selection for further consideration will be based solely on the information you provide in your resume.

• Bachelor of Social Work
• Social work experience in providing child welfare services
Self-aware and committed to the protection and support of children and families, you are familiar with First Nations culture, can establish effective partnerships and have the time management and organizational skills necessary to manage a diverse caseload. Experience in youth justice, social assistance, adult protection and/or community development would be an asset. Lastly, you should be living in, or are willing to relocate to, one of Yukon’s rural communities and be prepared to travel throughout the area. Security clearance with vulnerable sectors and a valid Class 5 driver’s license are required.
Approved candidates will be provided reimbursement of interview/relocations expenses, if required, in accordance with the Interview & Relocation Expense Directive. 

We are the Yukon public service. Every day, we come together to serve the people who live here, and to make a difference in so many ways—from simple to extraordinary and everything in between. Here, you will find the diverse opportunities you desire to develop your career while enjoying a warm sense of community and vibrant artistic, cultural and recreational amenities, all set in a spectacular natural environment.

For more information, please visit our website or contact Mary-Jane Oliver at 867.667.8622 or Lynne Harris at 867.393.7484.

To apply, please visit our website at


Program Leader - Mental Health and Homelessness

RainCity Housing and Support Society

Job No: 43014

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

  • This is a rare and exciting opportunity to lead a program originally developed as part of the largest study in the world on homelessness and mental illness.
  • Highly rewarding role, giving you the chance to make a difference in further developing this unique project.

About the Organization

RainCity Housing and Support Society is a grassroots organization built around compassion, purpose and a commitment to delivering progressive housing and support solutions for people living with mental illness, addictions and other challenges.
The people who benefit from the services of RainCity Housing are treated with dignity and respect, and are offered a safe place to live, independence and improved quality of life.
Since 1982, RainCity Housing has provided housing and support for thousands of people in the Lower Mainland. With a proven track record, a strong leadership team, and a clear vision for the future, RainCity Housing is a leader in finding workable, cost-effective solutions to end homelessness that ultimately benefit everyone in our community.
For more information about our organization, please visit

About the Opportunity

If you are an experienced mental health professional with program leadership and strong administrative skills committed to enhancing the lives of those living with a mental illness, RainCity Housing has a pivotal opportunity for a passionate Team Leader to lead and run the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) program.
Reporting to the Associate Director you will be responsible for overseeing the daily operation and clinical supervision of the ACT team. You will be working with a collaborative transdisciplinary team including nurses, psychiatrists, an occupational therapist, counsellors, and support workers to meet the housing, treatment and recovery needs of homeless people living with a serious mental illness and substance use issues.
More specifically, some of your daily contributions will include (but not be limited to):
  • Ensuring the team meets the standards, values, and requirements of the research project;
  • Being responsible for coordinating care with inpatient treatment and community resources, as well as clinical work of up to 50%;
  • Ensuring that client’s self identified goals for recovery and community integration are supported by appropriate services and practices;
  • Developing a collaborative trans-disciplinary team that meets the needs of people who have not been well served by traditional mental health services;
  • Acting as the clinical co-leader and building the capacity of the team by coaching, teaching, and creating opportunities for learning;
  • Being responsible for hiring, dismissal, discipline and performance evaluation of ACT team staff;
  • Working with Associate Directors, Program Managers, Human Resources manager, the Executive Director and administrative staff.
About You
RainCity Housing is seeking a candidate with:
  • A Masters Degree in a related discipline, for example: social work, nursing, and psychology.
  • Substantial experience working with urban homeless populations with serious mental illness, substance addiction and complex health conditions.
  • Several years experience working in a similar leadership role, giving you a sound knowledge of the issues surrounding mental health.
This role will suit a confident and strategic administrator with a strong background in running a mental health program. Your personal drive and professional experience will allow you to lead and manage the administration and service delivery of the program.
To be successful in this role, you will have knowledge of mental health recovery models and practice, including strengths-based case management. Having a membership with an applicable professional college will ensure your success in this role.
Your expertise includes using collaborative practices that promote curiosity, commitment, and the development of new ideas and skills. Your strong administrative skills support the complex systems that are critical to the ACT model. With excellent communication, analytical and interpersonal skills, you will be an effective leader prepared to influence and gain results for this research demonstration project on homelessness and mental illness.
In accordance with the managerial nature of this vital role, you will work effectively autonomously, and will demonstrate the ability to develop effective partnerships with key stakeholders, including government and non-government partners.
It is essential that the right candidate has a valid class 5 driver's license, an acceptable driver's abstract, and have access to a personal vehicle. Your core working hours will be from Monday to Friday, however due to the nature of this role, a flexible schedule is required as you will provide some after hours 'on call' duties to support to the organization.
RainCity Housing is looking for a empathetic individual who is genuinely committed about recovery for people with a serious mental illness.

About the Benefits
Salary will be based on qualifications and experience.
In addition, RainCity Housing employees receive
excellent benefits which includes:

  • Pension plan;
  • Attractive comprehensive benefits package.
For more information contact Greg Richmond phone 604-512-0177.

This is a fantastic opportunity to become involved with a well established and expanding organization while making a real difference in the lives of people living with mental illness, addictions, and other challenges. A supportive and friendly organizational culture will further increase your job satisfaction.

This is an extremely satisfying and rewarding role, and you will finish each working day knowing you have improved the lives of others and truly made a difference within the community! Apply now!

To apply, please visit

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Improving BC's Mental Health System for Children, Youth & Adults: Op-ed in The Province

Here is an Op-Ed I wrote that was published in The Province on Feb. 8th (online) & 10th (print edition). I want to encourage more of us to write letters to the editor, Op-eds etc. 

We have a provincial election on May 14th, it's time for progressive voices to be piping up. Social workers have such wisdom, knowledge and information about what is happening in our communities, I believe we must begin to bring that into the light to advocate at a broader level. 

On that note, if you see letters to the editor, or other content from SW's and social service professionals in the media please forward it to me @ so I can post it on this page.

Tracey Young: How many must suffer, die, before action?

The Province,  Feb. 8th (online) & 10th (print edition), 2012. 


How many children have to hurt themselves or take their own lives before there is action? How many people have to be critically injured or murdered by individuals who are acutely mentally ill and in urgent need of psychiatric care before the B.C. government takes responsibility for the fact that the child, youth and adult civil mental-health systems are failing an increasing number of people?

The names in the media articles change, but the stories remain the same: mentally ill people, some of whom are openly aggressive and violent toward others, often family members, or those who express suicidal and homicidal ideation to mental-health professionals, deteriorate to the point where they hurt themselves, harm or kill others. These incidents are not random and we must connect the dots to see why this is happening in B.C.

When family members see tragedy bearing down like a runaway freight train, why do they have to struggle alone and powerless to get their loved ones help from the only systems set up to provide it — the community mental-health system and the acute-care psychiatric services in hospitals?

Having worked as a psychiatric social worker in the youth and adult forensic psychiatric and civil mental systems I am unequivocal in stating that mental-health assessment and treatment has never been more difficult to access for children, youth and adults. The system of care from community mental health to acute psychiatric-care units, to long-term tertiary care, to supportive community housing is vastly underfunded and understaffed.

Many professionals working in this area of practice also do not have adequate training and ongoing professional development to ensure they are working together to provide the most competent, ethical and evidence-based care possible.

If someone has a broken arm, an acute heart condition or any other serious physical condition we would not dream of denying them access to health care. This is radically different for mental-health injury and illness for people of all ages. Mental illness continues to be stigmatized, just like those who suffer from mental health issues, who face extraordinary discrimination in daily life.

The B.C. government, in their 2010 report, Healthy Minds, Healthy People, stated that “over any 12-month period, about one in five individuals in the province will experience significant mental-health and/or substance-use problems leading to personal suffering and interference with life goals.” So they have at least recognized the immensity of the problems that occur for individuals, often starting in childhood.

The report goes on to state that a “recent Canadian study has suggested that mental illness costs the Canadian economy $51 billion annually in lost productivity — B.C.’s proportional share of this burden would be more than $6.6 billion each year.” In spite of creating these lofty reports, which lack concrete plans, something is going horribly wrong in the process of designing, implementing and carrying out services around B.C.

Thankfully, the office of the Representative for Children and Youth is studying the child and youth mental-health system, but the entirety of B.C.’s mental-health system of care from cradle to grave must be put under the microscope. Mental-health services are fragmented and regionalized across six different health authorities and the Ministry of Children & Family Development for children and youth.

All of these organizations have created their own bureaucratic infrastructures and administrative cultures, which has led to a serious lack of oversight, monitoring and accountability and no cohesion, sometimes even within the same organizations.

The B.C. government must take strong, decisive leadership to create a comprehensive, accountable plan that includes measurable goals for mental-health services across the province to ensure timely access to care and best practices in assessment and treatment are occurring within the system, within all program areas and organizations providing services.

Efforts must also be made to change the structure and culture of practice within the mental-health system of care. As many families find there are complex barriers to accessing both community and acute psychiatric hospital care for children, youth and adults. If individuals make it into acute-care units, structural and administrative priorities of moving people out of acute-care beds as fast as possible have replaced client-centred care, treatment and effective discharge planning to ensure that gains made in hospital are maintained as people transition back into the community. 

There must also be increased training for clinicians working in the system in assessing risk of self-harm and violence toward others as it has become all too clear that the civil mental-health system is often failing to adequately assess these risks.

In media story after story we learn that individuals were given cursory assessment and “treatment” in the civil system and then went on to commit violent crimes, often later being found Not Criminally Responsible on account of Mental Disorder.

A provincewide acute psychiatric care system that prioritizes getting people out of beds over a slower, measured process of assessment and treatment is leading to a normalization and minimization of risk factors that put individuals at risk.

Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I am labelling the current B.C. government as the ones who are insane for sitting on their hands, year after and year, ignoring the tragic failures, impacts and loss of dignity and human life that is resulting from the failures of the mental-health system of care that they have created.

With the provincial election occurring on May 14, it is time for all political parties to get real, get concrete and to stop twiddling their thumbs and inform voters what their strategic plans are to improve the mental-health system of care for children, youth and adults.

Individuals with mental illness, family members, professionals working in the field and concerned citizens have surely run out of patience waiting for the B.C. government to improve accessibility to the entire range of mental health services needed, improving outcomes and enabling people to live with the dignity and rights that everyone else takes for granted.

Tracey Young is a registered social worker, a consultant and counsellor in private practice, a writer and an advocate.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Satir Training

Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy Level III

"Where Words Cannot Reach"
Transformational change in the sand tray using the Satir Model - Part 3

conducted by Madeleine DeLittle, M.Sc.

March 2, 3, 2013 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Madeleine DeLittle's Playroom,
23253 Francis Avenue, Fort Langley, BC V1M 2R7
Minimum requirement STST Level 1 and Sand Tray part 1 or 2
SIP Members - $225.00
Non Member - $250.00
For More Information see the attached brochure or contact:
Cindi Mueller, Administrator
Satir Institute of the Pacific
13686-94A Avenue
Surrey, BC V3V 1N1


Satir Institute of the Pacific Presents...

Relational Sex Therapy Clinical Evening 

With Bianca Rucker, RN, PHD, RMFT

Tuesday March 5, 2013 - 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Available by Teleconference or in Person
SIP Members $20.00
Non Members $40.00

Minimum STST Level 1 training required

See attached brochure for more information and registration or contact:
Cindi Mueller, Administrator
Satir Institute of the Pacific
13686-94A Avenue, Surrey, BC V3V 1N1
                                        Satir Institute of the Pacific
Announces 3 Summer Intensive Programs in 2013

July 2 - 11, 2013 - Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy Training Program Level 2

Where: Rosemary Heights Retreat Center, Surrey, BC
9:00 am to 9:00 pm most days
Conducted by: Kathlyne Maki-Banmen, MA, RCC
under the direction of Dr. John Banmen, RPsych, RMFT, SIP Director of Training
Residential $1600 (Tuition, Program Materials, Accomodation, and 26 Meals)
Commuter $1175 (Tuition, Program Materials and 17 Meals)

July 14 - 21, 2013 - Master Class "Limitless within Limits"

Where: Rosemary Heights Retreat Center, Surrey, BC
Conducted by: Dr. John Banmen, RPsych, RMFT, SIP Director of Training

August 6 - 15, 2013 - Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy Training Program Level 1

Where: Rosemary Heights Retreat Center, Surrey, BC
9:00 am to 9:00 pm most days
Conducted by: Kathlyne Maki-Banmen, MA, RCC
under the direction of Dr. John Banmen, RPsych, RMFT, SIP Director of Training
Residential $1600 (Tuition, Program Materials, Accomodation, and 26 Meals)
Commuter $1175 (Tuition, Program Materials and 17 Meals) 

For more information see the attached brochures and application forms or contact:
Cindi Mueller, Administrator
Satir Institute of the Pacific