Category: Practice skills

Eastern OASW newsletter– theme on cultural diversity

Many of The Bulletin’s articles for this theme of focus are written by individuals grounded in practice.

Culturally sensitive and culturally responsive social work = Inclusive holistic diverse approaches to service. Our Fall Bulletin explores diverse approaches to serving refugee communities, African and Caribbean clients with mental health issues, and developing creative and collaborative measures for multicultural seniors and our First Nations people. …


Go to and click on “About OASW” and “Branches”


“E-referral” and the development of two way communication between programs/agencies in “Champlain”

From Jaime Constable, Senior Project Advisor, Champlain Community Support Network,  Thanks to SWAG for sharing.  I find their efforts interesting by encouraging a two way exchange of information.  Also I am curious on how 211, Information and Referral fits into this.

Description: Champlain Community Support Network

Making your services open to the public on Caredove

Referrals between agencies and from other sectors into community support services have been steadily increasing. Caredove also enables access by community members directly. Clients and caregivers can search for services and set up their own intake appointments. Some agencies have felt ready to open their services on Caredove for public access, and are asking how.

You are welcome to make your services open for public access, and share the Caredove site with your community members.

Here’s how to make services accessible:
1. Ensure that ‘sign ups’ are enable for all your services listed on Caredove
2. To get there, click on the ‘Settings’ tab in Caredove
3. Select ‘Referral Settings’ from the drop down menu
4. In the Service table at the bottom of the page, ensure that ‘Sign ups Enabled’ is set to ‘Yes’ for each service as appropriate.

Help get the word out to our partners

We want to ensure that our health care partners know more about community support services, and about how easy it is to refer their patients on Caredove. We are offering ongoing webinar introductions to the initiative, and helping other organizations sign up for accounts. Please help us get the word out about these opportunities by sharing the flyer linked below with your contacts in other sectors.

Training for health care partners in other sectors
E-referral to community support services in Champlain 

Tuesday, Dec 12 2017
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

This webinar provides an introduction of the Champlain e-referral to community support services initiative for our partners in other health care sectors. Please share the attached flyer with your contacts in other sectors.

Access the flyer here

Registration open: Champlain E-referral Webinars

Training for Community Support Services Staff
Introduction to Caredove Webinar

Wednesday, Jan 17th, 2017
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

This webinar is an excellent opportunity for new staff or existing staff who have not yet received Caredove training. Topics covered: Searching for services, sending referrals, the Calendar and Referral inbox features.

Register Now
E-referral Community of Practice Meeting

The Community of Practice sessions are designed to take a deeper look at referral processes and emerging changes in practice related to e-referral across the sector. They are also an opportunity to learn about more advanced special functions of Caredove.

We invite you to share any tips or successes from your experience using e-referral. If you are interested in presenting, or if there are special topics you would like to see covered, please e-mail your feedback to Jaime Constable at

Date: Fri Jan 12 2017
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Register now 



Jaime Constable
Senior Project Advisor
Champlain Community Support Network
Direct: 613-714-9454

Narratives of Social Workers involvement in social control in mental health yet wrestling with “the system”

This article provides a view of how the British mental health system framed social work practice under their mental health law. 


The paper explores the notion of ‘dirty work’ in relation to the newly created role of the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP). An AMHP undertakes various duties set out in the 1983 Mental Health Act, as amended by the 2007 Act, in relation to assessments to make applications for compulsory admission to psychiatric hospital. It has been argued that undertaking this social control function is ‘dirty work’. However, the findings from a study of social work AMHPs in England suggest that the picture is more complex. Extracts from narrative interviews are analysed using dialogical narrative analysis. Rather than being designated as dirty work, AMHP duty was presented as prestigious and as advanced social work. However, through their storytelling, the social workers clearly delineated the aspects of AMHP work that they did designate as dirty, specifically the lack of beds, the complexities of co-ordination and the emotional labour which is an inherent part of the work.

The British Journal of Social Work, Volume 46, Issue 3, 1 April 2016, Pages 703–718,
Published: 26 February 2015

Our Clinical Documentation activities…. client centred principles for the future of electronic health records

This document by Canada Health Infoway  is relevant to future directions and to keep in mind as each of us types up our: progress notes, our treatment plans, our assessments, our various forms of the day. Relevant to how we, our managers our VP’s and more importantly our clients and their networks of support; be more closely grounded, better still participate in our daily activities of documentation.


One of the most striking results of this workshop is that although the theme was digital health technology, much of the conversations over the day and a half revolved around relationships and communication. In fact, most of the priorities laid out in the Citizens’ Vision touch on these themes: creating an environment that encourages clinicians to share in decision-making with patients; creating the conditions for patients to take an active role in their care; connecting different parts of the health system to enable better flows of information. This seemed to resonate the most with participants – the promise that digital solutions might help to bridge the gaps between patients, providers, and institutions.


See the Document here

Final Report on Legal Capacity, Decision-making and Guardianship from Ontario’s Law Reform Commission

After years of work in developing the report, the Law Commission of Ontario’s final report with suggestions on implementation.…ng-and-guardianship/

These laws have a profound impact on the wellbeing of the individuals addressing both the protection of the autonomy of affected individuals and the risks of abuse and exploitation of individuals who may be vulnerable.

This project responds to public concerns regarding:

  • Misuse of powers of attorney;
  • Inappropriate interventions in lives of elderly Ontarians and Ontarians with disabilities;
  • Complex, lengthy and costly resolution of legal disputes;
  • Widespread lack of understanding among individuals, families, health and legal professionals, institutions, community agencies, and others; and,
  • Need to update Ontario’s laws in light of significant impact of demographic, legal, and social changes since these laws were introduced.

The LCO’s report is the most comprehensive analysis of Ontario’s framework governing legal capacity, decision-making and guardianship laws in nearly 30 years. Ontario’s current legislative regime for legal capacity, decision-making and guardianship took shape following several provincial reports in the late 1980s – early 1990s.


Mental health and human rights: What have human rights ever done for me?

From Christopher Snowdon, author and freelance journalist @Sectioned_, service user and (micro)blogger

You’ll often see me banging on on twitter about human rights (often using the hashtag #humanrights). Why have I got such a bee in my bonnet about human rights? Aren’t they just for journalists locked up in foreign jails, prisoners banned from voting or from being sent books, refugees? Aren’t they just about freedom of expression, torture, death row inmates? And why do they even matter if the government scraps the Human Rights Act, as we’ve heard the Conservative party propose recently? These are all important questions. … (go to rest of article below)

Human Rights Act 1988 Articles BIHR

Source: Mental health and human rights: What have human rights ever done for me?

Bridging housing, human rights and the law to a person’s everyday life

This video maybe made a bunch of years ago, but fantastic story of bridging human rights and engagement with the law, to a person’s everyday life.

Harvey Rosenthal of explains –

NYAPRS Note: Despite prominent news coverage, legal settlements and litigation and years of advocacy, thousands of adult home residents still await the promise of realizing their right to live in the most integrated settings in their home communities. See below for how this issue has reverberated in court rooms and in Albany over the past few weeks.
Accordingly, self and system advocates for adult home residents are coming to Albany this Wednesday to call on state officials to keep their promise to support their peers to live in the community. One has only to experience Coco’s story at to appreciate what it’s like for a resident to assume the dignity and independence of life in her own apartment in the City.

NYS Adult Home Residents with Psychiatric Disabilities Still Wait for NYS
to Keep Its Commitment to Support Them to Live in Most Integrated Community Settings
NYAPRS March 13, 2017

In 2002, the New York Times’ Cliff Levy wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative series exposing NYS policy failures regarding New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities, many of whom had been wrongly discharged from state hospitals into inappropriate if not abusive adult home institutional settings in NYC, in violation of their ADA rights to live in the most integrated community settings. See for Cliff’s first article in the series at…/for-mentally-ill-death-and-misery.…

After years of unsuccessful legal action and legislative advocacy with previous Governors, the Cuomo Administration took two very important actions:
· It stepped forward and reached a legal settlement agreement to help move about 4,500 residents to more independent and normalizing community settings and
· It promulgated a regulation that would stop referrals of people with psychiatric disabilities into adult homes with censuses of 25 or more adult home residents, in contrast to the several hundred who currently live in several of them.

Taken together, these actions essentially closed the front door of these institutions to New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities and opened the back door wide to afford them their rights to live out of institutions and into the community apartments with supports.

Despite the terms of the state’s legal settlement, NYS state agencies have helped only 475 of these residents transition to community based apartments since 2014, despite allocations of state financial and staff resources and new housing beds. That’s 475 or 10% of the now 5,000 residents who fit the terms of the settlement.

While one reason given is that residents no longer express a desire to leave, advocates believe that residents have become discouraged by years of broken promises and a lack of sufficient ‘motivational interviewing’ skills on the part of in reach teams.

And, to make matters worse, state agencies acceded a few weeks ago to a law suit put forward by the adult home operators challenging the regulatory limits of allowing no more than 25 residents per home and agreed to a temporary restraining order.

In response, the judge in the original settlement, Nicholas Garaufis, Senior United States District Judge serving on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, exploded and demanded that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman personally appear to explain why the state backed down on contesting the regulation while dragging their feet so starkly on the settlement.

In response, the Attorney General withdrew from the case on the grounds that his office was not “in a position to explain a decision that it did not make”, nor in a position to explain the state agencies’ decision to accede to the restraining order and because his office and the agencies “had a fundamental disagreement about how this matter should be handled.”

So the front door remains open and very little is happening out of the back door….and the residents continue to wait for the state to keep its commitment to them and to the court.

Look tomorrow for a news advisory for the Wednesday news conference by residents and advocates to press that thousands of residents are provided the supports that Coco received to live in the community.