About CASW

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CASW Represents Canadian Professional Social Workers

Building Together

Founded in 1926 to monitor employment conditions and to establish standards of practice within the profession, the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) has evolved into a national voice. The CASW Board of Directors determines and oversees general and financial policies. With each provincial/territorial partner organization appointing one member to the Board, a unified voice for the Canadian social work profession is assured.  The Board of Directors works from a national and, indeed, an international perspective to benefit the social work profession.

Provincial/territorial input into the deliberations of CASW is guaranteed through an Annual General Meeting between the CASW Board and Provincial/Territorial Presidents.

Speaking Internationally

CASW is active in the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), providing leadership within the IFSW Executive as well as within the North American Region. The expertise of CASW in social policy, its concern for social justice and its continued role in social advocacy is recognized and called upon by IFSW.

Speaking Nationally

On a national level, CASW has adopted a pro-active approach to issues pertinent to social policy/social work. It produces and distributes timely information for its members, and special projects are initiated and sponsored.

CASW representatives serve on coalitions and participate on a host of affiliated, nationwide committees on a continuing basis.  As well, they provide consultation with government, other professional and non-governmental groups and, of course, the general public.

Parliament Hill Day 2012

To preserve the highest degree of excellence within the profession, CASW provides assessment of academic qualifications of non-North American social workers who wish to practise in Canada.

Encouraging Participation

By joining the appropriate provincial /territorial social workers’ organizations, social workers automatically become affiliated with the Canadian Association of Social Workers. Because of its broad-based membership, CASW is able to offer the benefits and advantages associated with a professional organization, such as insurance packages that include professional liability insurance, group life, disability, and a retirement plan.

In June 2011, CASW adopted individual membership categories in order to maintain a viable national voice. Individual memberships are being offered only to regions of Canada that do not have Partner Organizations (Alberta, Ontario and Québec). CASW individual memberships will be subject to, and come into force upon final approval of CASW Bylaws by Industry Canada. 

Publishing, Producing, Distributing

The Code of Ethics, national policy and position papers, research projects, reports and selected books are also produced by CASW and are available from the national office. CASW also acts as a clearinghouse for its member organizations, providing information related to social work policy and practice.

CASW Partner Organizations:

British Columbia Association of Social Workers
Alberta College of Social Workers
Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers
Manitoba College of Social Workers
New Brunswick Association of Social Workers
Nova Scotia College of Social Workers
Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers
Prince Edward Island Association of Social Workers
The Association of Social Workers of Northern Canada
Co-ordinates of Partner organizations are available from the CASW office and its web site.

Mission Statement

CASW promotes the profession of social work in Canada and advances social justice.
Adopted October 2014

CASW Ends or Directions (Adopted by the CASW Board October 2014)

CASW exists so that the social work profession is respected as a unique, diverse, and credible profession, in Canada and Internationally.
1. There is a clear and positive image of the social work profession.
2. The social work profession has a positive impact on public/social justice issues.
a) Policy makers will understand the impact of policy decision on social justice.
b) Social service development will be responsive to the social needs of Canadians.
3. All social workers have access to a broad base of information they need to enhance their practice.

All three ends or directions are held to be of equal priority.

CASW Strategic Directions 2016-2020

For more information on the CASW Strategic Plan please contact the CASW Board representative from your provincial/territorial association. (Click here for the list of Board Members).

CASW Social Policy, Position Statements & Issue Response

All CASW Social Policy, Position Statements and Issue Responses are grounded in CASW Social Policy Principles.

The process behind developing CASW Social Policy, Position Statements and Issue Responses are grounded in the foundational documents of the federation. CASW Bylaws and adopted Policy-Governance define roles, responsibilities and the limitations of the differing yet equally valued roles in developing CASW Social Policy, Position Statements and Issue Responses.

CASW Policy-Governance is also clear that CASW Social Policy, Position Statements and Issue Responses must be congruent with the Mission of CASW and the Strategic Directions adopted by the CASW Board.

The CASW Social Policy Principles are used by the CASW to guide evaluation of federal social policy initiatives. The social policy principles are identified with a statement that indicates implications for practice.

For document in full, please see attachments.