Differences Between Association (OASW) & College (OCSWSSW)
1. What is the role of a Professional
Professional associations provide a "voice" for
the profession they represent. This voice reflects the values,
interests and concerns of the profession. All major professions
have professional associations. In Ontario, the role of
professional associations is separate and distinct from the role of
professional regulatory bodies. To learn more about the role of
the regulatory body for social workers in Ontario, visit www.ocswssw.org.
2. What is the unique role of OASW?
As a bilingual membership association, OASW addresses
the interests and concerns of the profession at the
local and provincial levels. OASW has 15 branches across
The role of OASW is:
- to provide critical analysis of provincial government social
- to advocate for reforms to policies and programs to ensure that
all members of the community have the same basic rights,
protections, opportunities and social benefits
- to provide critical analysis of government policies and
practice that impact on social wok practice
- to advocate on behalf of the profession when there are threats
or impingements on practice
- to enhance the understanding of the role of social workers by
the public, the media, government and other professions
- to provide professional practice and employment supports, as
well as tangible and intangible benefits to members.
3. How are activities financed?
Activities undertaken on behalf of the profession are financed
by membership fees and the sale of products and services.
4. Who is eligible to join OASW?
OASW membership is open to graduates or students of Canadian
university social work education programs accredited by the
Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work and graduates
of other university social work programs recognized as
equivalent. As well, applicants must live, work or study in Ontario
at the time of application. Click on How to
Join for more detailed information.
5. Why should I join OASW?
As society becomes increasingly complex, social workers, more so
than ever before, need a strong articulate voice speaking on
their behalf. The strength of OASW's voice and the issues it
can address are dependent upon the commitment of individual
social workers to support the work of OASW through membership.
- to support professional and social advocacy initiatives
- to keep informed on current issues related to social work
- to access professional development and employment
opportunities, including access to www.SocialWorkJobs.ca
- to network with social workers in similar fields of
- to get advice on workplace issues, and
- to be eligible for special services and benefits available only
to members (e.g., substantially discounted
professional liability insurance).
6. Do I need to belong to both OASW and the
Yes, OASW and the College play separate and distinct roles. The
interests and concerns of the profession are served by
belonging to both organizations.