In July, the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers sent out its 2022 Member Communications Survey to members. The purpose of the survey was to help the College evaluate its communications strategy and determine which communication tools and services were successful as well as areas in need of improvement.
Now that the survey results have been compiled – and with more than two thousand members participating – we are pleased to share the following takeaways:
As the regulatory body for social workers and social service workers in Ontario, the College’s mandate is to protect the public interest. Everything we do comes back to that public protection mandate, from setting entry-to-practice requirements to maintaining rigorous complaints and discipline processes. It’s critical that members and the public understand and are aware of our regulatory role.
According to the survey results, 75% of members agreed that the College is effective in communicating its public protection mandate. This is a significant increase from the 2018 Member Communications Survey when 70% of members indicated that they agreed. Though we are pleased with this improvement, we believe that there is plenty of room for growth.
Employers are getting the message
In 2017, the College launched its ongoing employer outreach campaign to inform employers of the importance of College registration and the value of hiring registered social workers and social service workers. The multi-faceted campaign includes digital advertising, virtual and in-person outreach, a quarterly publication and an interactive quiz, among other initiatives.
The survey results showed that 74% of members agreed that their employers understood and appreciate the value of their College registration, compared to 70% who said the same in the 2018 survey. Sixty-seven per cent also agreed that their employers require candidates for positions at their organization to be registered with the College, compared to 63% in 2018. Judging by the improvements in the survey results, the College’s message is getting out to employers!
Diversity, equity and inclusion
Increasing diversity, equity and inclusion is a priority for the College, as noted in its 2020-2023 Strategic Plan. As part of this commitment, the College set out to enhance equity and inclusion across its organizational processes, resources and materials. The College has made some progress on this commitment, however, we wanted to understand more about how social workers and social service workers perceive our actions.
According to the results, 69% of members agreed that the College is doing an effective job in communicating its commitment in relation to this strategic priority, although only 60% agreed that the College is making progress to enhance equity and inclusion across its organizational processes, resources and materials. Although the College doesn’t have benchmarking data with which to compare these results, we know we have plenty of work ahead in this important journey.
The College is committed to ensuring its members receive timely and relevant resources to support their ethical and professional practice. This is important not only for members but also for the individuals and communities they serve.
According to the survey results, 64% of College members said that they access the College website and online resources when they have a challenging practice-related issue or inquiry, with the College’s Practice Guidelines, ETHICS-A Tool and Practice Notes regarded as valuable by most members.
There were some practice supports, however, which weren’t as widely known to members, including the following, which may be of interest:
- The College’s video discussion with Cheryl McPherson, RSW, on ethical and competent responses to anti-Indigenous racism
- The Resource Room – an online library of all College resources
- The Employer Communiqué– the College’s quarterly publication for employers
- Practice consultations
- The College’s social media channels for timely updates (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube)
Thank you to all members who participated in the survey. We were pleased with the solid response rate and your interest in our communications and outreach. We value your feedback! We will continue to analyze the survey results to determine areas of improvement in our communication tools and services.
For questions regarding the 2022 Member Communications Survey and the College’s communication tools, please contact email@example.com.