As a federation of 8 provincial and one territorial social work organization as well as individual affiliate members, the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) fulfills a national leadership role in strengthening and advancing the social work profession in Canada.

One component of this mandate is the promotion of high standards of professional conduct. There are many social workers who exceed the normal expectations and make outstanding contributions to social welfare and to the social work profession in Canada. It is important to recognize these individuals, and to that end CASW issues two types of awards: the Distinguished Service Award and the Glenn Drover National Award for Outstanding Service. In addition to recognizing achievements, these awards promote the visibility of social work and social workers.