Spring is a season of rejuvenation, and it’s a time where we can sense the warmth and liveliness all around us. As we embrace this season of renewal and growth, we must also navigate the evolving world of regulatory governance. Now is the time to adopt a more compassionate approach to regulation for public protection. 

Kindness has often been overlooked in the realm of regulation, yet it holds an immense power. The concept of a more focused approach on kindness within regulation has been an emerging trend for a number of years. This shift – with public protection at its core – is one that we must begin, while taking into account all those involved, including College registrants. Kindness is the thread that weaves through every interaction, decision and policy we enact. It is an approach that recognizes the complex emotional, and at times, stressful loads that may be present in the registrant experience. Developing humane approaches to maintain a strong focus on risk and patient safety while also considering registrant well-being is the essence of kindness in regulation. When we approach our duties with humanity and lead with empathy, in turn, kindness in regulation will enable us to regulate more effectively by upholding our mandate of public protection through embodying compassion. 

Effective regulation is a collaborative responsibility and meaningful engagement is one of the ways we can redefine how the College approaches its public protection mandate. By infusing the concept of regulating with kindness into our governance framework, we not only foster a more humane approach to regulation, but one that is more effective. This approach acknowledges diverse lived experiences and perspectives which, in turn, builds trust and accountability. Ultimately, regulating with kindness nurtures a sense of collective responsibility around maintaining and safeguarding clients and communities served by our registrants. 

We are dedicated to finding new ways to support College registrants in their professional and ethical journey towards being qualified, capable and competent social workers and social service workers. With the College mission in mind, we are thrilled to introduce two innovative resources in this issue that will empower our registrants to practise proactively and professionally. The new Practice Notes “What Clients are Sharing with the College” is a resource that will help to gain a deeper understanding of the client experience and ultimately strengthen relationships within this bound. We have created a new resource to explore the “The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Practice,” which will provide registrants with valuable insights into this rapidly evolving field. Our goal is for College registrants to be better equipped to face the challenges of modern practice and we look forward to seeing the benefits of these resources. 

Regulating with kindness can transform the way the College protects the public. This framework embraces this mindset to create an environment that fosters empathy, recognition and understanding, ultimately leading to a safer and more fair society for all. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, we are dedicated to continuous engagement with registrants and to improving our approaches through intentional and genuine action. Embodying these practices will enable us to pave the way for a more humane approach to regulation while maintaining the public’s safety. 


Denitha Breau, RN, MSN, MBA
Registrar and CEO
Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers