New & Innovative Structure to Support Local Member Engagement

A Joint Message from The CEO & President

TORONTO, May 22nd, 2020 - We are so pleased to announce an exciting and innovative new structure to better support local member engagement across Ontario. This transformation was officially shared today as part of our Annual General Meeting.

This decision comes after several months of collaborative consultation with members, past and present board and branch volunteers, as well as an in-depth environmental scan lead by an external governance review expert. While branches, regions, and their volunteers provide valuable support and opportunities for local engagement, the review identified an onerous structure from which members felt disconnected from and found complex. Volunteers highlighted issues with sustainability, meeting the needs of a rapidly growing membership, and feelings of burnout. We heard loud and clearly from our members that they were ready and in need of a new structure to engage locally and be better connected provincially.

The most significant change to our local structure will be the elimination of Regional, Branch and Branch board structures that will support the launch of a Local Engagement Ambassador (ELA) program in 25 communities across the province.

This new structure will allow OASW to increase spending on professional development opportunities for members both locally and provincially, support local engagement that is responsive to geographical challenges, increase transparency on local spending, and decrease administration for volunteers through dedicated provincial supports.

We look forward to continuing to work with branches to understand local needs as we transition towards this new shared vision. Provincially, over the next several months we will provide local opportunities for members while we undergo this transformation. A special meeting will be held in November 2020 to endorse the bylaw changes that will support the restructure.

To all the members who have been part of this process, our volunteers both past and current, we want to thank you. We know this innovative structure is going to allow us to deliver stronger programs and opportunities, achieve our strategic priorities, measure outcomes that drive success, and support our members in the critical role they play across systems and settings.

We look forward to working together towards an exciting connective future.


Dr. Deepy Sur, MSW, PhD, RSW                              Dr. Peter Donahue, MSW, PhD, RSW
Chief Executive Officer                                              President