Category: Social Work National Issues

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.

Senator Kim Pate gives speech on women and jails to the Senate

Please see this Globe and Mail article on her speech 

…For 35 years, Kim Pate has been the country’s most prominent advocate for the hundreds of women locked away in Canada’s prisons.

It is a numbing world that tests the souls of all who touch it, filled with extremes of bureaucratic apathy and human barbarity.

So when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Ms. Pate to the Senate in October, she could have been excused for embracing it as a departure from all that – a retirement from decades of fighting on behalf of women such as Ashley Smith and hundreds of others whom the justice system has silenced and segregated. …

Photo published for New senator Kim Pate gives a voice to women in Canada's prisons

Follow her adventures, on Twitter!

Listen to her speech here:

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women

CASW statement

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women

(Ottawa, Ontario) December 6, 2016 – On this day, the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) marks the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, and solemnly remembers the 14 women murdered on this day in 1989 at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. While there has been progress made in the pursuit of a Canada free from gender based violence and oppression, there is still much work to be done.

“Far too often, the everyday injustices and barriers that women experience are shrugged off,” stated CASW President Jan Christianson-Wood, “but we must recognize that these issues are part of a climate of misogyny that lead, in part, to those fourteen young women’s tragic deaths. It is more important than ever to remember and to name the horrific experience of those young women for what it was: gender based violence and misogyny.”

CASW also notes that the purpose of this day is two-fold; both to remember and to inspire action toward a better future. As such, CASW commends the federal government in undertaking a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, but concurrently CASW demands that this inquiry result in concrete actions to create systemic change.

“On behalf of the social workers we represent, CASW wrote letters to each provincial/territorial Premier, calling for full cooperation in the national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls,” noted Christianson-Wood, “and we will continue to demand a Canada in which our laws, policies and procedures – not just individual citizens – support, empower, and protect the dignity and safety of women and girls.”

Additionally, CASW acknowledges the special international circumstances which colour this year’s day of remembrance and action. “The politics of our neighbours to the south often have a huge impact on Canada’s political and social climate as well,” stated Christianson-Wood. “In light of recent events, CASW believes it is important to reiterate that Canadian social workers affirm the lived experiences of women and stand in solidarity with victims and survivors of violence.”


For further information:
Fred Phelps, MSW, RSW
CASW Executive Director
Tel: 613-729-6668