The B.C Green Party is tabling legislation regarding the regulation of counsellors, therapists, and social workers.
The “Health Professions Amendment Act” seeks to close loopholes that have allowed some counsellors and therapists to go unregulated by the government.
According to a Green Party news release, in B.C, unregistered counsellors are unregulated by the government. They say that means anyone would be able to call themselves one, regardless of experience or credibility.
There are registered clinical counsellors which are regulated by the province.
“Regulation of health care professionals is necessary to protect the public and the decision to extend regulation to professions must be based on an assessment of the potential harm to the public” says Michael Crawford, President of the BC Association of Social Workers.
“Social work is not a fully regulated profession however, consideration of the public interest should lead the BC government to require that all social workers be registered with their regulatory college by removing all exemptions prescribed in the Social Workers Act Regulation.”
Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Alberta all have regulated counsellors and therapists.
The Greens say that the lack of regulation can cause ‘untold damage to those seeking mental health care and placing trust in their provider’.
Social workers in B.C are already regulated by the government, but some are only regulated under the ‘Social Workers Act’, which the Greens stated ‘exempts workers caring for some of our most vulnerable people’.