08 Sep 2021

“What’s in a name?” The OCSWSSW Wants Ontarians to Know They Are Protected

The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) is encouraging Ontarians to check out its Online Register of social workers and social service workers through its “What’s in a name?” public awareness campaign.

The OCSWSSW is the regulatory body for social workers and social service workers in Ontario. Its mandate is to protect the public from unqualified, incompetent and unfit practitioners in Ontario.

The “What’s in a name?” campaign promotes awareness of the OCSWSSW and the Online Register of social workers and social service workers in Ontario. It also reinforces the OCSWSSW’s ongoing mandate to protect Ontarians through the campaign’s tagline, “What’s in a name? Protection for you.”

“Most of those who seek the services of social workers and social service workers are at a vulnerable point in their lives and likely dealing with a number of issues. This is more true than ever as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said OCSWSSW Registrar and CEO Lise Betteridge, MSW, RSW. “Ontarians deserve to know they’re protected. That’s why we’re here.”

In Ontario, only registered members of the OCSWSSW are permitted to use the protected titles “social worker,” “registered social worker,” “social service worker” or “registered social service worker,” or represent themselves as a social worker or a social service worker.

Using any of the protected titles or representing oneself out as a social worker or social service worker without being registered is illegal. Individuals who do so are considered to be unregulated practitioners who may put the public at risk.

“Our message to Ontarians is clear,” said Betteridge. “Make sure that the person you are working with is a registered social worker or registered social service worker. Get peace of mind by finding their name on our Online Register.”

The “What’s in a name?” campaign includes a mix of messaging and video across mediums that highlight the OCSWSSW’s public protection mandate and direct Ontarians to a call-to-action: check the Online Register.

Advertisements can be seen in medical offices across Ontario, throughout digital mediums including social media and Google as well as 10-second segments on CP24 for the next six weeks.

To learn more about the registration status of a social worker or social service worker, visit the College’s Online Register. The College also has a list of unregulated practitioners on its website.

About the OCSWSSW

The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, which is accountable to the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, is the regulatory body for over 25,000 social workers and social service workers across Ontario. Its primary mandate is to protect the public from unqualified, incompetent and unfit practitioners.

For further information: Media Contact: Sarah Choudhury, Director, Communications, schoudhury@ocswssw.org.