The College is committed to continuing its work on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion as they relate to the materials that we develop and our organizational practices and processes.
As noted in the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan, College Council identified increasing diversity, equity and inclusion as a strategic priority of the College. The broad objectives within this overarching priority are intended to respond to the concerns of all equity-seeking groups, and to enhance equity and inclusion across organizational processes, resources and materials.
To achieve this strategic priority, the College will:
- Provide more educational resources to support members in practising ethically and professionally, with a focus on considerations related to equity, diversity and inclusion, in the best interests of the individuals, families and communities to whom they provide care and services.
- Review the Standards of Practice and revise as necessary.
- Develop partnerships with Indigenous communities to begin to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s calls to action within the regulatory context.
- And more.
We will continue adding resources and updates as they are developed and become available.
The College’s role as regulator
The College’s ongoing mandate is to protect the public interest through the regulation of social work and social service work. We must always consider and reflect upon our role as regulator with respect to the important issues of diversity, equity and inclusion – a role which is distinct from that of a professional association, whose mandate includes advocacy.
While advocacy falls outside of the College mandate, we do have a key role in providing guidance and resources to our members that empower them to employ sound clinical and ethical judgment in making decisions that will benefit the individuals, families and communities they serve. This includes considerations that members must take into account related to equity, diversity and inclusion.
- July 15, 2020 – Message from the Registrar and CEO: Systemic Racism, Mental Health Checks and the College’s Regulatory Role
- July 2, 2020 – Message from the Registrar and CEO: Important Updates for College Members and Other Stakeholders
- June 19, 2020 – Strategic Plan 2020-2023: An Overview of the Process and the College’s New Guiding Priorities
- June 15, 2020 – Message from the OCSWSSW Registrar and CEO: Recognizing and Reflecting Upon Anti-Black Racism
As part of the 2020 CCP, members are required to review the following three resources:
- Practice Notes, “Cultural Humility: A Commitment to Lifelong Learning”
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Frequently asked questions
How will the College implement – and measure the success of – its strategic priority to increase diversity, equity and inclusion?
Throughout the strategic planning process, the College has carefully considered stakeholder feedback in order to ensure that the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan provides clarity with respect to the College’s direction and priorities moving forward. In terms of next steps, the College will implement and measure its progress toward each of the priorities and objectives set out in the Strategic Plan, including the strategic priority of increasing diversity, equity and inclusion. The Strategic Plan will be operationalized on an annual basis through the budget and work plan. Careful consideration will be given to the various approaches that will be undertaken to identify, respond to and operationalize each strategic priority and objective. Progress on the goals and activities described in the annual work plan will be reported on at each Council meeting and highlighted in the College’s Council meeting highlights, eBulletins, annual reports and other communications. All of these steps ensure that the Strategic Plan is a living document that provides the foundation and guidance for all College decisions over the next four years.
Why isn’t anti-Black racism specifically mentioned in the College’s 2020-2023 Strategic Plan?
The College believes that profound societal, political and institutional changes are needed to address anti-Black racism and other forms of systemic oppression. Through its new Strategic Plan, Council has indicated its commitment to moving forward on the challenging and very important issues of diversity, equity and inclusion as they relate to the College’s regulatory role. This overarching priority encompasses anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, and other forms of systemic oppression which disproportionately affect racialized communities. We recognize that these critical issues directly impact the work of our members, and the College’s communications, resources and other materials will continue to support members in practising ethically and professionally and to reflect our public protection mandate.
The 2020-2023 Strategic Plan states that the College will form partnerships with Indigenous communities. Who will lead these efforts?
The College is committed to developing partnerships with Indigenous communities to begin to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s calls to action within the regulatory context. In doing so, we recognize that we must proceed thoughtfully, avoid imposing our own assumptions and framework, and begin instead with truly listening to the experiences, ideas and needs of Indigenous people living in Canada. The TRC was established to contribute to truth, healing and reconciliation — and reconciliation, as the TRC noted, is an ongoing individual and collective process.
What is the College’s position on the use of police for mental health checks?
The College recognizes and shares concerns about incidents involving police use of force during mental health checks – incidents which have disproportionately affected Indigenous, Black and racialized communities served by our members, and had tragic outcomes.
With respect to mental health checks, as noted in the College’s July 15, 2020 eBulletin, members are advised to use their professional judgment to apply the College’s Standards of Practice in the best interests of the individuals, families and communities they serve. The Standards of Practice are meant to be applied to members’ practice in conjunction with any applicable legislation and with their professional judgment. It is important to note that the Standards of Practice do not explicitly require members to call the police in crisis situations, but rather require that they use their professional judgment to consider: their obligations with respect to privacy and other legislation; the best interests of the client; and the broad range of options available.
How would requiring Children’s Aid Society workers to be registered with the College increase equity in Ontario?
The College believes that requiring Children’s Aid Society (CAS) workers to be registered with the College would play an important role in increasing equity in Ontario. This is because all Ontarians – especially the vulnerable children and youth as well as Black, Indigenous and people of colour communities receiving vital services and supports from CAS workers – deserve the protection provided by College oversight.
As noted in its August 17, 2020 eBulletin regarding the changes to Ontario’s child welfare system, the College is disappointed that the Government of Ontario’s modernization strategy does not take into consideration any requirement for CAS workers to be registered with the College. The absence of such a requirement ignores the College’s important role in protecting the Ontario public from harm caused by incompetent, unqualified or unfit practitioners. It also further exacerbates existing inequities by denying vulnerable Ontarians the protection offered by the College.