This webpage has been established to provide members with up-to-date information regarding the evolving situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check frequently for updates.
Social workers play a key role in providing ongoing and crisis-based social work services during this time due to the increased need for services related to health, mental health, basic need fulfilment, employment and income support planning, safety planning for vulnerable children and families, advocacy and the dissemination of accurate information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The College acknowledges social workers on the frontlines providing these critical services to the public and those developing and managing programs and policies to respond to this pandemic.
Governments at all levels are strongly encouraging the use of widespread social distancing. The safety of social workers, their clients and the public is of utmost importance. Where possible, the College encourages social workers to provide electronic social work services (see Electronic Social Work Practice section on this page) and reduce/suspend non-essential services until further notice, in keeping with the recommendations of Manitoba Health.
On March 30, 2020, the Government of Manitoba issued a public health order to come into effect on April 1, 2020, requiring all non-critical businesses in Manitoba to close until April 14, 2020. Social work services may continue as an essential service in accordance with section 5(2) of the order as follows:
Any other health professional who is authorized to practise their profession may provide services to, or on behalf of,
(a) the Government of Canada, the Government of Manitoba or a municipality;
(b) any person or publicly funded agency, organization or authority that delivers or supports government operations and services, including health care operations and services; and
(c) any business that is listed in the Schedule.
In addition, any authorized health professional may provide urgent or emergent care.
Note that section 3(3) of the order allows businesses to operate remotely for the purpose of providing services online, by telephone or other remote means.
For information regarding businesses listed in the Schedule, including health care, seniors care, social services, justice services and professional services, please review the full Public Health Act Order.