Category: Social Work National Issues

Social Workers attempt to strengthen the profession to meet global challenges

From CASW, – The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) efforts to create cohesion between education and actual practice. 

Diagramme of IFSW focus areas

…At an interview after the UN Speech Dr Truell said, “It was a historical mistake that social work split education and practice into separate organisations which has been a constant barrier in the profession. The people who use social work services deserve a profession that not only involves them, but also where teaching and practice directly inform one another. We realise of course that the two organisations have different operational cultures which makes joining together challenging, but through a respectful process, I am sure we can find solutions that are the best for the profession and uphold the dignity of the histories of both organisations”. …

See the article here


Federal efforts to “consider” bridging national: research, practice, policy, in Health Care

While the report by Drs. Danielle Martin and Pierre-Gerlier Forest plays down the actual answers to the problems of  the lack of coherence in national organizations to advance and change health care, their efforts to advocate for cohesion by framing the efforts for these evidence developing organizations as a suite is “refreshing.”  Clearly the devil is in the details but its important that the federal government places itself as having a critical role in contributing to research, practice, policy in Canadian health care.

The suite is listed here, in chronological order of founding:

  • Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA)
  • Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH)
  • Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)
  • Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI)
  • Canada Health Infoway (Infoway)
  • Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI)
  • Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC)
  • Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC)

… The PCHOs are self-governed, non-profit organizations. Although the federal government provides the majority of their funding, they operate as arm’s-length bodies. They were set up between 1988 and 2007 to respond to disparate health policy issues affecting the country. …

“Fit for Purpose: Findings and Recommendations of the External Review of the Pan-Canadian Health Organizations – Summary Report”

… A vision for 21st century health systems

The terms of reference for this review made it clear that there is a pressing need for the PCHOs to help citizens, providers, administrators, and policy makers address the vulnerabilities of today’s health systems. These vulnerabilities include issues related to fragmented and inadequate pharmaceutical policy; the need for robust health data governance and digital infrastructure; the desire to scale-up successful health innovations; the need to modernize the basket of publicly funded services to promote equity; the critical importance of strong primary care systems across the country; the need for more meaningful patient and public engagement in health care; and the imperative of working in partnership with Indigenous organizations and communities to improve Indigenous health outcomes.

But beyond the vulnerabilities of today, a successful PCHO suite must be designed to support the emergence of health systems of the future across Canada. Therefore, before recommending a future set of PCHOs, we endeavoured to understand what these 21st century systems will look like. A consensus vision emerged both across the country and in Canada’s international commitments. It is clear that Canada’s future health systems must be shaped by federal government partnership with the provinces and territories, as well as with Indigenous partners. The need to balance local and regional priorities against the need for a shared architecture and framework across Canada’s health systems will be ongoing. But there is also a set of global trends and an emerging international consensus that will set the broader context for health system reform.

The World Health Organization’s model of Integrated, People-Centred Health Services, endorsed by countries the world over – including Canada – is presented as the framework to guide Canada to 21st century health care. It puts people at the centre of the health system and promotes care that is universal, equitable, and integrated. The framework emphasizes a seamless connection to other sectors, notably those focused on the social determinants of health. This framework also promotes providing a continuum of care that requires high-performing primary care.

Learning health systems are also an essential foundation for effective health systems of the 21st century. Their goal is patient care that is continuously informed by the meaningful use of data, evidence, and research, with research and practice connected through a continuous feedback loop. This vision requires fully electronic and inter-operable health systems in which data are collected, openly shared, and accessed quickly and efficiently. …

See the report here


Discussion on the National Housing Strategy – homelessness and housing meets the rest of society

In depth discussion where a basic human need, housing relates to the needs of all of us including: homelessness, social housing, renting, and families buying a house.

See panel discussion here: Agenda Discussion on Federal Housing Strategy November 2017


Survey on job satisfaction and salaries for all social workers in Ontario


All social workers in Ontario welcomed to participate.

Important Survey For  Social Workers


The Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) is conducting a province-wide online survey to gather information about current social work salaries and job satisfaction across sectors of practice in Ontario. To ensure that the most comprehensive data is collected, members can play a crucial role by both participating and circulating the survey link through your various networks. You do not need to be a member of OASW to participate.


The aggregated results will provide current and up-to-date information regarding the employment experience of social workers across all practice settings in Ontario which will assist OASW in advocacy efforts with government to address disparities in social work salaries.


All responses will remain anonymous.  Respondents who complete the survey will be invited to enter a separate prize draw for four $25 Indigo gift cards.


1) Complete the survey now:


2) Forward this message to your social work colleagues & networks anywhere in Ontario


Approximate time to complete the survey: 13 minutes.


Call for a “renewed” national agency to address social infrastructure

Michael Mendelson of the recently closing Caledon Institute lays out a vision of a new agency to build upon the history of councils working on social welfare.

…Today the National Council of Welfare is gone. The Canadian
Council on Social Development barely exists, limping along with little
national presence. These two core national agencies, which provided a
prominent voice for ‘social Canada,’ are no longer heard. At the same
time, many other national groups that were important to social policy
have also disappeared, such as the Economic Council of Canada. As of
November 2017, the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, to which this author
is affiliated and which has been critical in developing many practical
social policy innovations over the last two and a half decades (most notably
the child benefit system introduced by the new Trudeau government),
will also close up shop.

For Canada to remain a nation that aspires to protect our most
vulnerable citizens while providing equal opportunity for all, we cannot
stand still in the face of the challenges to come. We must evolve and
adapt our social security and development systems to the reality of the
world around us. This is not a task for government alone. Business,
labor, media, religious and Indigenous organizations and many others in
both our economic life and our civil society must play a role.

What Canada is missing is an ‘institutional’ national agency,
which can bring together the many and varied elements of civil society,
government and others towards continuously assessing, improving and
adapting our nation’s social infrastructure to ever-changing circumstances.
But neither the National Council of Welfare nor the Canadian Council
on Social Development as they were established would be suitable for
today’s needs. …

See the proposal here:

Ontario Association of Social Workers president describes efforts to dialogue with the Canadian Association of Social Workers

President Adamson’s memo informs of a OASW and CASW luncheon.

The voice of social work in Ontario La voix du travail social en Ontario

January 2017
Memo to: OASW Branch Presidents
Cc: OASW Board of Directors

Dear Colleagues:
As a follow-up to our November meetings at the OASW Provincial Conference, I wanted to provide you
with an update on CASW.

Joan MacKenzie Davies, OASW Executive Director, and I met with CASW’s new President,
Jan Christianson-Wood, and Executive Director, Fred Phelps, on October 5, 2016. While
OASW had proposed meetings with CASW previously during visits to Ottawa in October 2014, and to
coincide with our attendance at the Eastern Branch 80th Anniversary and Gala on March 23, 2016, the
previous President, Morel Caissie, was unavailable to meet with us on those occasions. The October
2016 meeting came about as the result of a follow-up by the new President to our earlier

The agenda for our meeting consisted of an exchange of information, a sharing of strategic directions,
and getting to know one another. The hour and a half luncheon meeting was cordial and constructive.
Initially, we talked about the future of social work practice as reflected in emerging trends in
government policy and social work practice, as well as emergent challenges and opportunities facing the

Overall, the meeting served the significant purpose of finding out what issues were of uppermost
importance to the respective organizations. There was an alignment around raising the profile of the
profession (CASW has started its own marketing campaign) and Indigenous issues. No specific
commitments were made in regard to next steps, but there was agreement to keep the lines of
communication open.

Please do not hesitate to be in contact with Joan or your Regional Director if you have any further
questions or concerns.
Keith Adamson, PhD, RSW

from Eastern Branch Spring 2017 newsletter found here:

Straight talk on User involvement in any system of care

Peter Beresford of Shaping our Lives, explains’s Britain’s experience with systems improvement as well as professional regulation, suggests how to deepen and make more clear in our everyday individual and organizational practices.

Here is an rather detailed, practical report on user involvement  Beyond the usual suspects, towards inclusive user involvement”

The Shaping Our Lives group, has various and many resources – main page here.