Bonnie Schroeder, Eastern Regional Director (2016-2018)

Representing OASW members in Eastern Branch. 

Bonnie Schroeder, MSW, RSW, is a social worker with over 20 years' experience in a variety of community, social and health sector organizations in the Ottawa and surrounding area. She has been a proud OASW member since 1993 after finishing her BSW (Laurentian). She fondly remembers being taken under the wings of several OASW Eastern Branch members when she attended her first Branch event in 1994 (many who are still her mentors!). She was quickly recruited to volunteer on the Branch Board of Directors (1994-1999) and became an active participant on the Eastern Branch Social Work in Aging and Gerontology professional development group (2002-2009). 

While she strongly identifies with the social work profession, she has not typically worked with other social workers in her career. During a short stint at CAS, she found herself finding patterns in her caseload.  As a social worker with the special needs unit, she had 8 of 32 families with children, with disabilities coming to the CAS for respite and at a breaking point attempting to plan for the future of their children. During supervision, she would ask her manager what the Society was doing to address this issue in the community. She knew from this point forward that she needed to come at supporting individuals and families from a different perspective. 

This experience also pushed Bonnie towards pursuing her MSW in 1997 (Carleton). She was able to work part-time with public health while completing her MSW with a focus on health policy and administration. In 2000, she joined VON Canada as the Caregiver Research Project Manager. She has assumed different roles within VON Canada attaining the director level position in 2008.  Working as part of the national leadership team, she provides strategic direction and support to policy, programs and services related to healthy aging, home care, and caregiving.  She has been told she is a maven - a person who feels complied to gather information and then seek to pass knowledge onto others. 

On reflecting on her OASW involvement, Bonnie was impressed to see her continued connection to OASW as: Branch Representative on the Provincial Board (1998-1999); Member of Provincial Nominating Committee (2001-2009); Mentor with the OASW Mentorship Program (2005-2011); and most recently as a member of the Government Relations Committee (2011-present). She looks forward to bringing her knowledge, experience and skills to the OASW Board of Directors as the Eastern Region Representative.