… decision will contribute to a weakened national social work voice and visibility…

Colleen Lundy (Carleton School of Social Work) in an email encourages the OASW board to recognize the impacts of its decision to withdraw from CASW

…As you know I and a growing number of others continue to be strongly opposed to the decision to suspend and perhaps withdraw membership. Either decision will contribute to a weakened national social work voice and visibility. OASW will lose members as a result.

As far as the survey – it was seriously flawed in its methodology and questions. As well, anyone could respond and could do so as many times as they wished. Therefore the findings will not be meaningful and cannot be used to justify any decisions. For these reasons I did not respond to the survey.

The Board of Directors may want to read a book recently published by Therese Jennissen and myself on 100 years in Canadian Social Work (by Wilfred Laurier University Press). We also wrote an opinion piece in the current Eastern Ontario Bulletin. Perhaps being fully informed about the immense contributions of CASW along with the many struggles would lead to a more rationale decision by OASW.

By the way Canadian Social Work journal by CASW has an extra issue ready for publication on immigration and refugee settlement – the authors are from across the country and the journal was financially supported by the Federal government.

Colleen Lundy


One comment

  1. Bill Dare

    Yes Colleen on lots of your points. The survey approach to suggest OASW member’s participated, considered or are happy about the decision is plain sad.

    And again sad a brand new board gets asked at its first meeting to withdraw from their national organization, but clearly this has been in the works for many years, it is just branch board members and the membership itself never was involved in any at least meaningful way.

    Sad too that in this dispute and discussion we as social workers are not deploying our communication resources to learn from this conflict or crisis, both sides by the way OASW and CASW. At the moment feels like inward organizational damage control.

    As a front line social worker I look forward to further discussion and dialogue, even though the OASW provincial board says “enough.” Seems to me we front liners need to have some opportunity to consider this issue and how this impacts both on ourselves as professionals and the future quality and direction of services and care the people we serve will experience.

    It would be good to bring in the different provincial perspectives on the issue. Is there strength in our diversity? I think the challenge for the CASW though, is to find way’s to bring front line workers and as the Brit’s say, “service users” into the dialogue. That has been missing in action, and a bit of a closed organization (though I know they have been trying).