Nadia Rainville, RSW, is a supervisor at Centre Victoria pour femmes, a non-profit agency in the Greater Sudbury and Algoma regions that provides services to French-speaking women who are affected by violence. She is also a part-time professor in the social work program at Collège Boréal.
The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers was pleased to interview Nadia about her role and responsibilities at the agency, the importance of hiring College members, and the opportunities and challenges she sees in the social services field.
Read our interview with Nadia below:
Q: How did you arrive at your current position?
Nadia: I did my first placement here at the Centre where I was hired on the frontline on a part-time contract basis. I originally went to Laurentian to become a teacher but decided to go into social work instead. I have always liked helping people, and the social work field felt natural to me. My dad always said, “Do something you love because you’re going to be doing it for the rest of your life.” I took that to heart and here I am.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your role at the Centre Victoria pour femmes?
Nadia: I enjoy the variety of things I get to do at the Centre. We provide many services, including education and informing young girls in schools; group- and individual-based counselling; accompanying women to courts, hospitals and the children’s aid societies; and a support line. As a supervisor, I support the team and have a hand in making decisions, but what I appreciate most about my job is the one-on-one counselling time with clients, touching base with who they are as people.
Q: In your opinion, what is the value in hiring registered social workers and registered social service workers?
Nadia: There are a few reasons, but the main one is accountability. If you’re a registered social worker or registered social service worker, you are accountable by keeping up with the training, education, and all the new and improved ways of counselling. Registration also protects the best interests of the client as well as the Centre. This is important to me.
Q: How do you see the field changing over the next decade?
Nadia: I see a lot more technology. COVID-19 has forced us to see clients through various platforms, including Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams and phone. I think this has been good for some clients, especially up here in Sudbury where the weather can get bad, but for others it has highlighted the importance of face-to-face contact.
The pandemic has made it more difficult for agencies to reach isolated women in domestic violence situations. Our stats have gone way up over the last two years, from a woman being murdered by her intimate partner every five-to-seven days to 2.5 days during the pandemic. The goal of the abuser is to keep the abused isolated, and isolation has only increased during the pandemic. Even with these challenges, we will continue to work hard and find ways to reach women in need.
The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers thanks Nadia Rainville, RSW, for granting us this interview. For more information about the Centre Victoria pour femmes, please visit www.centrevictoria.ca. Please note that the interview above was conducted in December 2021. Nadia Rainville, RSW, has since left the Centre Victoria pour femmes.