May 10, 2022
Written by Mishal Dar
MSW Practicum Student with the Interprofessional Primary Care Team (IPPC)
In Ontario, Social Work Week is from March 2nd to 8th and it is a time for recognizing the valuable work done by social workers every day. Whether they are working with individuals and families or communities and organizations, social workers work with clients facing challenges to collaboratively identify goals for change. Using a process of assessment, treatment, and evaluation, the social worker supports the client in achieving these goals.
Registered social workers in Ontario must complete a Bachelor of Social Work and/or a Master of Social Work, and must participate in continued professional learning in order to practice as a social worker. Social workers must abide by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice set by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Using their specialized education, social workers are able to work in a variety of workplace settings including schools, correctional facilities, community organizations, hospitals, and various government agencies such as Children’s Aid.
What makes social workers unique is that they are grounded in the principles of social justice. Within their practice, social workers recognize the oppression experienced by certain groups and strive for the equitable distribution of resources and opportunities. Relying on the exosystemic and biopsychosocial models, social workers also recognize the importance of placing clients within their environments and acknowledging all aspects of their lives. This means that they look at individuals within their families, communities, cultures and broader societies, while also factoring in biological and psychological factors. This theoretical knowledge is used in combination with evidence-based therapeutic interventions to address the needs of clients.
The theme this year for Social Work Week is, “Social Workers: Leading Positive Change Across Systems & Settings,” which highlights the fact that social workers are uniquely positioned for promoting change by taking on leadership roles within their workplaces. Social workers very often help clients navigate complex systems through referrals and guidance. This extensive knowledge of systems in combination with people skills makes social workers ideal promoters of positive change.
We would like to take this week to recognize the important work done by social workers every day at the Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities!