Central Ontario Branch

The Central Ontario Branch includes the regions of Toronto, Peel and York. 

Upcoming Events

PRIDE 2019 Condom-Stuffing Party

Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Time: 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location: 543 Yonge Street, 4th Floor, Toronto
(Join us for part or all of the session, as your time permits.)

Please join the OASW Central Ontario Branch as we celebrate Pride by helping the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) to raise sexual health awareness and keep people safer by participating in a Condom-Stuffing Party! Along with volunteers from other organizations and the community, we'll be preparing safer sex packs for distribution during Pride month. It's easy, no experience is required, and it's a fun couple of hours spent in the company of fellow social workers and community members.

Refreshments will be served, and there will be prize draws! Colleagues, friends, and family welcome. 

ACT is one of the largest distributors of free condom and lube packs in Toronto. Locations across the city, including bars, clinics, and bathhouses carry ACT condoms, each of which comes with a small leaflet with current sexual health information as well as a water-based lubricant package. Each year, hundreds of thousands of these packs are put together and distributed. 

If you are able to attend, please send a quick note to info@oaswcentral.org to let us know. Registration is not required but having a sense of numbers will help ACT to plan for materials and refreshments.


Past Branch Activities


Central Branch 2018 Annual General Meeting
Special Presentation: Mindfulness & Compassion
Date: Thursday, October 18, 2018
Time: Registration 5:30 - 8:00 PM
Location: Courtyard Marriott, 475 Yonge Street, Toronto 

This year's Special Presentation will be focusing on self-care for social workers. Taking care of ourselves helps us take care of others in a collaborative manner. Mindfulness and Compassion training provide us with essential inner resources and relationship-centred skills, allowing enhanced empathy, deep listening, and compassion-based responses. During this session, guest speakers Dagmara Urbanowicz, MSW, RSW and Anna Marie Batelaan, MSW, RSW will provide an overview of Mindfulness and Compassion as well as Burnout and Empathy Fatigue amongst professional caregivers and look at ways to address this. We will also engage in several practices to promote experiential learning.

Dagmara Urbanowicz, MSW, RSW & Anna Marie Batelaan, MSW, RSW, Co-Founders of Mud & Lotus Wellness

Classes Are Almost Over. Now What? 
During Social Work Week, we hosted a lunch-time panel discussion in conjunction with the Graduate Students Association at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.

Speakers included:  
Dr. Barbara Muskat, Director of Social Work at The Hospital for Sick Children
Jocelyn Watchorn, Director of Support Services at the AIDS Committee of Toronto
Jasmine Ferreira, OASW Communications and Public Relations Manager
The speakers focused on core competencies and hiring practices in both clinical and community settings, alongside practical tips for job search, interview preparation, career development, and the benefits of OASW membership. A draw was held for a free, one-year OASW student membership, and a pizza lunch was provided in partnership with the Student Association. The event was very well attended and students were really engaged. Board members in attendance stayed after the event to network with and answer questions from students.

A Night Filled with Ideas, Opportunities + Purpose 
Also during Social Work Week, we participated in the TRY University 2018 Social Work Networking Gala at York University. Organized by students from the schools of social work at York University, the University of Toronto, and Ryerson University, the event featured two keynote speakers, Notisha Massaquoi, Executive Director of Women's Health in Women's Hands Community Health Centre and Rupaleem Bhuyan, Associate Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. We arranged for Jasmine Ferreira, OASW Communications and Public Relations Manager to deliver a presentation about the value of OASW membership, set up a networking table to talk to students about the Association, and arranged for Mirjana Nevajdic to attend and provide information about the Social Workers and Social Service Workers Professional Development Fund. We donated one-year OASW student memberships for a student from each of the schools for a prize draw.

Sock Drive for Seaton House 2017
For the third year, OASW Central Branch has partnered with a discount wholesaler to provide socks to those who need them most. In addition, The Bargains Group generously committed to matching our donation: for every case of socks that we purchased, they donated a case of personal care products (soap, shampoo, etc.) to residents of Seaton House.

2017 Annual General Meeting
2017 thought-provoking presentation looked at the devastating issue of Human Trafficking in Ontario, specifically in York, Peel, and Toronto. 65% of all human trafficking cases reported to police across Canada originate in Ontario. It is believed to be vastly under-reported, but of reported cases in Ontario, 70% are for the purpose of sexual exploitation. We have gathered together experts from across the GTA, including social workers, police, and the Indigenous Anti-Human Trafficking Liaison for the GTA & Golden Horseshoe regions. 

The panel included:
Lindsay Upton, Program Manager, Victim Services Toronto; Constable Joy Brown, Peel Regional Police; Chair, Peel Human Trafficking Service Providers Committee; Lindsey Lickers, Indigenous Anti-Human Trafficking Liaison, Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto; and Tehsin Jaffer, Manager, Human Trafficking Program, 360Kids, York Region

"Human trafficking” is a criminal offence and involves recruiting, transporting, transferring, receiving, holding, concealing or harbouring a person, or exercising control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation. Human trafficking is a complex and often hidden crime and human rights violation that results in serious and long-term trauma for survivors. Human traffickers prey on the most vulnerable in our society and use different tactics to control, abuse, exploit and profit from victims.

Board Members (Collective):  

Andrea Siomos, Chair
Jake Farr: Treasurer
Wayne MacLean: Past Chair
Jane Sanders: University of Toronto Student Representative
Shelley Allen
Daniel Pugh
Roxanne Ramjattan

Contact Information:


Central Branch Newsletters attached below:

May 2018 Newsletter
(Adobe PDF File)
Spring 2018 Newsletter
(Adobe PDF File)