This guide sets out information on the process for obtaining funding for therapy and counselling for individuals who were, or may have been, sexually abused by a member of the College while they were a client.
A client is eligible for funding if any of the following circumstances exist:
- The client has filed a complaint alleging sexual abuse
- The client is part of a Registrar’s investigation into allegations of sexual abuse
- There has been a finding of sexual abuse by a Discipline Committee panel
The amount of funding provided will depend on the circumstances. However, the maximum amount available is approximately $16,000. 1 O.Reg. 59-94 under the RHPA, s. 1(a).
Once a client’s eligibility is determined and their application processed, the College will let the client know if they have been approved for funding. If some of the cost of the therapy and counselling is covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) or a private insurer, the amount of College funding will be reduced by that amount. 2 Ibid, RHPA, s. 85.7(11).
Restrictions on Use of Funding
The funding can only be used to pay for therapy and counselling3 Ibid, s. 85.7(9). and must be paid to your therapist or counsellor directly by the College.4 Ibid, s. 85.7(8). The funding provided does not cover travel, accommodation or other incidental costs incurred as a result of therapy. Missed appointments are also not covered.
Time Limits on Application for Funding
Funding may be provided for up to five years from the date the client became eligible for funding or the date they first received therapy and counselling. 5 Supra, note 2, s. 1(b) To receive the full benefit of funding, clients should submit their application as early as possible.
Choosing a Therapist/Counsellor
If you are eligible for funding, you may choose any therapist or counsellor as long as the therapist or counsellor:
- Is not a family member
- Has not been found guilty of sexual misconduct or been found civilly or criminally liable for a similar act
- Signs a document to confirm that they are not subject to professional discipline if they are a regulated health professional 6 Supra, note 1, s. 85.7(7).
Some factors you may wish to consider in selecting a therapist or counsellor are:
- Whether the therapist/counsellor is a regulated health professional under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA), 1991.
If your therapist/counsellor is not a regulated health professional, you will have no way of knowing whether he or she is appropriately qualified to practice and you may not have a governing body to contact if you have concerns about the therapist/counsellor’s conduct
- Whether the therapist/counsellor has expertise in treating the effects of sexual abuse
- Your comfort in meeting with the therapist/counsellor. This will be a person that you will be disclosing your past to and will be discussing your sexual abuse experience with.
- The amount of sessions that therapy or counselling will require. In the event your total therapy costs exceed approximately $16,000, you will have to pay the difference.
- Whether there will be costs in travelling to see your therapist/counsellor. Such costs are not covered by the College.
In the event you are not satisfied with your chosen therapist/counsellor, if you still have remaining funds for therapy/counselling, you may attain a new therapist/counsellor. The new therapist/counsellor will have to fill out a new form (Form B) to be reviewed and approved by the College.
Obtaining Funding for Past Therapy/Counselling
If you paid for therapy yourself in the past and would like to request reimbursement for these costs, you may do so. However, legislation mandates that the College only pay the therapist/counsellor and not you. 7 Supra, note 5 . Therefore, if you are approved for funding, the therapist/counsellor must agree to reimburse you and the College will pay the therapist/counsellor.
How to Apply
Application forms are posted on the College’s website. There are 4 forms available:
Form A – Funding for Therapy & Counselling Application (to be completed by the applicant)
Form B – Therapist/Counsellor Information (to be completed by the applicant and therapist/counsellor)
Form C – Request for Reimbursement of Past Therapy or Counselling Costs (to be completed by the applicant if the therapy/counselling has already been provided)
Form D – Information for Processing Invoices for Therapy & Counselling (to be completed by the therapist/counsellor)
You can contact the Professional Conduct Coordinator at 416-640-2252 for assistance.
Once your application has been received, the College’s Client Relations Committee (CRC) will review it within 4 to 6 weeks and determine your eligibility for funding.
As part of its review, the Committee may be privy to some of the information you provide to the College regarding the abuse. However, the College recognizes that the information you provide is sensitive and personal and will only disclose the least amount of information required to assist the CRC in undertaking its review of ensuring that the criteria for funding eligibility has been met.
You will then be advised of the Committee’s decision. If the Committee has decided that you are eligible, you will also be advised of the amount of funding that you have been approved for.
Application Decision – Confidentiality
A decision by the CRC granting funding does not constitute a finding that the midwife in question engaged in sexual abuse and cannot be considered by any other committee of the College when dealing with the midwife. 8 Ibid, s. 85.7(5.1).
In addition, all information obtained through the application funding process, including the fact that funding has been granted and the reasons, if any, given by the CRC for granting the funding, must be kept confidential by you.