Private Practice


While the public health emergency under the Public Health and Promotion Act has ended, social workers in all fields of practice must keep abreast of changes and continue to follow public health guidelines. 

For the latest information on COVID-19 as well as public health guidance, please visit

 NLCSW also continues to update our COVID-19 Resource Page  with information relevant to social work practice.  

Private practice is defined as:

The provision of social work services, on a full time or part time basis, by a registered social worker who is self-employed, a member of a partnership/group practice, or independent contractor. Social workers in private practice are autonomous and responsible for the quality of social work services and ensuring compliance with the legislation, code of ethics and standards of practice. Services in private practice are provided on a fee for service model that is mutually agreed to by a client or third party (i.e., insurance company, employee assistance program, organization) or as set out in a contract.

Registered social workers in Newfoundland and Labrador are employed in diverse fields of practice and private practice continues to expand with social workers involved in a broad range of activities including, individual, couple, family and group therapy; assessments, education, facilitation and consultation, and responding to critical incidents and emergencies.

Social workers engaging in private practice must maintain active registration with NLCSW and professional liability insurance. Special professional liability insurance rates are available through the Canadian Association of Social Workers.

NLCSW also offers a voluntary roster for private practitioners. The voluntary roster is intended to increase public protection while promoting the private practice of social workers who meet the criteria of NLCSW’s Private Practice Policy.

Application for NLCSW's Voluntary Private Practice Roster


NLCSW's Voluntary Private Practice Roster

The voluntary roster is available for individuals wishing to engage the services of a social worker. Social workers listed here are registered with NLCSW and meet the criteria for registration as a private practitioner.

Private Practice Roster

Social Work and Private Practice: Information for Members of the Public

Many people avail of counselling/therapy from social workers in private practice. The following resource is intended to help members of the public find a private practitioner who can meet their needs - FAQ for Members of the Public.

Resource Guide for Private Practice

Private practice is a professional and business venture. As entrepreneurs, social workers in private practice need to consider all of the business aspects of running an independent practice that would normally be handled by an employer (i.e., accounting practices, tax remittances, rental agreements, insurance, record storage and security, fee schedules, administrative tasks, etc.). 

Social workers considering private practice are encouraged to develop a business plan, implement accounting practices, seek clarification regarding HST exempt services from the Canada Revenue Agency, and obtain insurance and legal consultation as appropriate.

The resource guide (revised November 2022) identifies some of the ethical and professional practice considerations for social workers engaged in private practice.