Black Social Workers Association Rates
Consultation/Independent Legal Advice $1,000 & up
This option covers reviewing the complaint the social worker is facing, the College’s finding if an investigation is directed and the investigator’s report (if the social worker is at this stage of the complaint process) and a 1-hour meeting with the social worker to discuss their case (pros and cons). Fees for consultation are based on the amount and seriousness of the allegations that the social worker is facing. Allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct are not included in the flat rate above and will be more depending on the seriousness of the sexual allegations.
Negotiation/Settlement for Admissions of Unprofessional Misconduct Flat Fee $1,500 & up
Some matters can be settled through carefully negotiating some admissions of unprofessional misconduct and not others. However, a full assessment of the social worker’s circumstances are required in order to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the allegations they are facing. Negotiations are sometimes unsuccessful and a hearing may be the necessary next step. Fees for negotiation are based on the amount and seriousness of the allegations that the social worker is facing. Allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct are not included in the flat rate above and will be more depending on the seriousness of the sexual allegations.
Hearing: $4,500 per day
If the complaints director at the College determines that there is sufficient evidence that the social worker may have acted unprofessionally, the social worker will be contacted by telephone of that decision. Then an investigator will be assigned and that investigator will interview the complainant and the social worker to gather information. There are sometimes issues about the right to counsel being present during the interview, but obviously legal advice would be helpful during the investigation phase. There is a considerable amount of preparation involved in hearings including organization of documents to be used as exhibits, strategizing preparing questions for witnesses, reviewing all documents, etc.
It is estimated that for every day of the hearing, there are 3-4 days of preparation. This preparation occurs at various phases in the days, weeks and/or months before the hearing. For this reason, fees are typically charged for at least one day of hearing even if the matter settles within two months before the start of the hearing, for two days of hearing even if the matter settles within two weeks of the hearing, for three days of hearing even if the matter settles within one day of hearing and for the entirety of the scheduled days of hearing whether they are utilized or not. Sometimes hearings are unavoidable but necessary given the potential loss of livelihood despite the high financial cost, and high emotional cost given the stress of the process.
Allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct are not included in the flat rate and will be more depending on the seriousness of the sexual allegations.
Appeal within College: $3,000 per day
The preparation from hearing will be used to prepare for the appeal within the College, which is why it is less than the per diem rate for the hearing itself. If the social worker wants to appeal an unsatisfactory decision from the College, they must do so within 30 days after the date on which the decision of the hearing, which is not included in the above amount but is usually $750 & up depending on the complexity of the issues on appeal. An appeal hearing date must be set within 45 days of filing a notice of appeal. This amount of time may seem long, but it is not when it comes to preparing for the appeal. Sometimes new evidence can be introduced in appeal, a new hearing ordered, or a completely new decision made. The relief requested on appeal will depend on the social worker’s unique circumstances. Allegations of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct may be more than the amount above and will be more depending on the seriousness of the sexual allegations
Appeal within Court: $7,000 per 10 pages of Decision Under Appeal
Occasionally, the social worker may end up with a decision they do not agree with and wish to challenge the College’s decision to a higher authority. The law is constantly evolving and the Court of Appeal’s decisions serve to advance those evolutions and provide valuable commentary and clarification needed to sometimes save a person’s career. The Court of Appeal process is document intensive with the amount of written briefs and other information required, which is reflected in the fee amount above. There is also usually settlement discussion at the direction of the Court of Appeal that happens and can sometimes be effective and end in complete success for the social worker.
Because the complexity of an appeal often depends on the complexity of the College’s decision, there are few metrics that can assist us in determining an appropriate fee. Accordingly, our general policy is to round up to the nearest ten pages to calculate the fee estimate. This excludes court filing fees and the cost of obtaining any transcripts. Allegations of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct may be more than the amount above and will be more depending on the seriousness of the sexual allegations.