Social Justice / Social Advocacy

One of OASW's major roles is to comment on public policies that affect clients whom social workers serve. Human rights and the needs of under-served or at-risk populations are priorities.

OASW prioritizes issues annually in accordance with OASW's Strategic Plan.

The issues identified as priorities are:
  • Social determinants of health (including issues such as social assistance, poverty, housing, homelessness, etc.);
  • Human rights;
  • Legislation / Regulations & Government Policies impacting on profession or public.

Professional Practice

OASW provides a strong voice for the profession related to professional practice. Unlike other organizations that focus on a single practice issue, work/labour condition(s) or a sector, OASW addresses the entire range of practice issues/concerns that impact on the profession and examines the interconnected nature of these issues and emerging trends across practice areas.

Key issues OASW tackles include:
  • Promoting awareness of the important and varied roles carried by social workers  through: a public-facing marketing campaign; fostering positive working relationships with decision-makers in government; and, developing and distributing materials to support the promotion within the profession itself during Social Work Week.
  • Monitoring and responding to government legislation, regulations, policies and programs as well as organizational practices that directly or indirectly impinges on the profession's scope of practice.
  • Proactively promoting the inclusion of social workers related to emerging areas of practice/roles.
  • Promoting research that builds evidence to demonstrate the value of social work interventions.
Regulation of Psychotherapy and Access to Title "Psychotherapists"   
As a result of a highly successful lobbying campaign led by OASW, members of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) were included in the Psychotherapy Act, 2007.   

Inclusion of Registered Social Workers in Legislation, Regulations and Programs  
As part of its Government Relations Strategy, OASW is actively lobbying government for the inclusion of social workers in legislation, regulations, policies and programs from which they are currently excluded and which pose barriers to their practice.