OASW in Action
One of OASW's major roles is to comment on public policies that
affect clients whom social workers serve. Human rights and the
needs of under-served or at-risk populations are priorities.
Poverty reduction is a major focus of social advocacy.
In addition, OASW focuses attention on increasing public awareness
on the important role played by the profession related to service
Furthermore, OASW speaks on behalf of the profession regarding a
wide array of professional practice and employment issues such as
government or organizational policies that potentially infringe on
social work's scope of practice. With looming human resource
shortages in many other professions, OASW is promoting the valuable
services social workers provide and the under-utilization of our
OASW Providing Leadership
for Social Workers in Ontario Historic Achievements - Legislation
Did you know that OASW's leadership, funded through membership
fees, has led to a number of historic achievements related to
legislation and regulations that significantly impact on social
work practice? These achievements include:
- Establishment of the Ontario College of Certified
Social Workers (OCCSW) - in the mid-1980s, OASW
established a voluntary regulatory body as a first step to being
regulated under provincial legislation.
- Health Care Consent Act, 1996, and
the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992 - OASW effectively
advocated for the inclusion of social workers in regulations under
- Social Work and Social Service Work Act,
1998 - OASW assumed the leadership role for a period
of 20 years to achieve regulation of the profession which led to
the establishment of the Ontario College of Social Workers and
Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW).
Act, 2007 - OASW spearheaded a province-wide
campaign involving the profession, employers and service
associations, actively lobbied the Minister of Health and MPPs, and
worked with OCSWSSW to secure inclusion of social
- Access to
title "Psychotherapist" - 5 regulated professions that
were included in the Psychotherapy Act were initially denied access
to the title; OASW successfully advocated with the other
professional associations for use of the title.
- Access to
use of title "Doctor" - OASW lobbied for access to the
title by individuals who have been granted a doctorate in social
work and provide clinical services (2010). Previously, the
Health Professions Act (RHPA) restricted use of
the title to five professions in Ontario.
- Exemption from GST/HST for provision of clinical social
work services - OASW successfully advocated for this
exemption with colleagues in other provinces (2003).
Recognition as a "Medical Practitioner" in Income Tax
Act - as of 2012, fees for clinical social work
services can now be claimed as a medical expense tax deduction.
OASW lobbied for many years for this change. Lack of a medical
deduction for social workers was a disincentive, especially for
physicians, to refer to our profession.
If you have any questions about any of these historic
milestones, please do not hesitate to contact email@example.com.