2022-2023 College Council Remains Committed to Protecting Ontarians

The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (the College) is pleased to announce the College Council for 2022/2023.

“Social workers and social service workers play an integral role in the lives of Ontario’s most vulnerable populations, from seniors to children,” said Council Chair John Fleming, who was elected to the position on September 8, 2022. “Everyone benefits when they receive care and services from regulated professionals. Ontarians have the right to assume that those helping them and their family members are registered with, and overseen by, the College. The 2022-2023 Council will continue to fulfill its public protection mandate, remaining committed to doing the necessary work around diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging as well as moving forward on a number of recommendations to improve and modernize the College’s governance – further supporting regulatory effectiveness in the name of public protection.”

The College currently regulates over 26,500 social workers and social service workers across Ontario. The Council is the 21-member governing body and board of directors that manages and administers College affairs. Its primary governance function is policy direction and development in supporting the operations of the College’s public protection mandate.

In addition to Council Chair John Fleming, the following Council members were elected by Council to the Executive Committee:

  • Mandi Olson, RSSW, Vice-Chair
  • Sanjay Govindaraj, RSW, Vice-Chair
  • Mukesh Kowlessar, RSSW, Executive Member
  • Pamela Murphy, Public Member, Executive Member
  • Durel Williams, RSW, Executive Member

The Executive Committee is a statutory committee of Council. It provides leadership to Council and facilitates its efficient and effective functioning.

To learn more about the Council, including Council member biographies, please visit the College’s Council Members webpage.

“I am pleased to be working with the newly elected Executive Committee,” said College Registrar and CEO Lise Betteridge, MSW, RSW. “Everything the College does comes down to protecting the public from unqualified, incompetent and unfit practitioners. Public protection is at the forefront of all our decision-making, and I am looking forward to continuing on this important journey with Council.” 

As part of its public protection mandate, the College maintains an Online Register, which lists all College members, their registration status, employment information and discipline history, if any, as well as other relevant information. Ontarians working with an individual who calls themself a “social worker” or “social service worker” should always check the Online Register to ensure the practitioner is registered. If the individual’s name doesn’t appear on the Online Register, they are considered an unregulated practitioner and put the public at risk. The College also maintains a list of unregulated practitioners on its website.

“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,” added Betteridge. “All Ontarians deserve to know they’re protected. That’s why we’re here.”