Celebrating YOU! Happy Social Work Week...

Dear Colleagues, 

Happy Social Work Week 2020! This year’s theme “Social Workers: Leading Positive Change Across Systems and Settings” signals the importance of the work you do every day across the province. We are recognized as a profession grounded in social justice and the ability to address oppression experienced by individuals and communities. Social Workers remain on the front line of real issues and we have the critical ability to deliver psychotherapy, counselling, and address mental health issues especially in increasingly complex environments. The importance of our leadership across systems is evidenced by our growth to over 6000 members this past year in our Association.

Over the last 6 months I have reflected on what it means to lead, champion, and advocate for our profession. I have enjoyed meeting with members across the province who are engaged locally in care delivery, community activism, and influencing change. I am inspired by our colleagues who teach and embrace our learners, build evidence to support our profession, and use innovative technology to reach our communities. Considering all of this, I realize the skills, talent, and training we bring to our field is not only unique and meaningful but also extraordinary. Social Workers advance policies to protect the individuals we work with and are sincerely focused on solutions centered on human dignity and care. This invaluable lens promotes positive change in our interprofessional environments and sets us apart as remarkable agents of change.

Many of you have taken the time to share your heartfelt thoughts and advice about our joint priorities, I have learned that local engagement and connectivity is an important member benefit. In addition, social work students and new graduates across the province have signaled a desire for a greater engagement. It is my pleasure to work collaboratively to meet this challenge and I welcome your partnership.

As a member of our Association, I encourage you to consider a deeper engagement. Our next Social Work Provincial Conference is taking place on November 13-14, 2020. Please join us at this event and take advantage of the current Call for Proposals to present, join, network, and learn with your talented colleagues across Ontario.

This year we will increasingly engage our members through newly launched Advisory Groups, I am especially proud of the launch of our Equity Advisory Group. Excellence in representing the voice of Social Work in Ontario will be influenced by a culture of equity and transformation in our journey together. Excitingly, early this spring we look forward to launching our member survey across the province, I invite your feedback on shaping the design of our future. 

Finally, my continued reflection on what it means to champion change includes an element of vulnerability. I am grateful for a profession that promotes stepping up to difficult discussions about inclusion and awareness. I acknowledge the rich history of our profession and welcome exploratory conversations about the threads that bring us together as well as set us apart.

As social workers you make a difference, a difference that matters. Social Workers don’t wait for moments to improve the world, instead every instant is an opportunity for positive change. I remain excited about our collective journey ahead. Thank you for your care, trust, and partnership. Join me in harnessing our collective capacity for transformative change and together let’s celebrate our infinite ability to lead across all our systems and settings. 

Deepy Sur, Ph.D, MSW,RSW
Chief Executive Officer

About OASW
OASW is the voice of social work in Ontario. It is a voluntary, bilingual, non-profit association representing approximately 6000 social workers. All members have a university degree in social work at the bachelor, master or doctoral level. OASW works to actively speak on behalf of social workers on issues of interest to the profession and advocates for the improvement of social policies and programs directly affecting social work practice and client groups served.