Central Ontario Branch

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

Upcoming Events

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

Description: 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.

About the Presenters: 
Dagmara Urbanowicz, MSW, RSW and Anna Marie Batelaan, MSW, RSW are co-founders of Mud & Lotus Wellness. 

They both have extensive experience in healthcare and working with vulnerable populations along with comprehensive training and certifications in the area of mindfulness and compassion. They are long-term mindfulness practitioners, each holding a personal practice for over 10 years, who have found mindfulness and compassion to be transformative to their personal and professional well-being and resilience. In their private practice, Dagmara and Anna Marie offer workshops, run retreats, provide training to both organizations and individuals, and deliver interactive presentations. Their primary focus is on developing an understanding of Burnout and Empathy Fatigue amongst professional caregivers and ways to address it.

Anna Marie and Dagmara are the recipients of the 2018 Excellence in Interprofessional Education Award through the Holland Bloorview Teaching and Learning Institute for their work in bringing Mindfulness and Compassion based practices to University of Toronto healthcare students.

RSVP here
. **Tickets are free for OASW members, but you must be registered to attend.

We hope to see you there!

Central Ontario Branch

Past Branch Activities:

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
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) 

Andrew Eaton, Co-Chair & University of Toronto Student Representative
Jake Farr, Treasurer
Wayne MacLean, Past Chair
Andrea Siomos, Co-Chair
Cheryl McPherson

Contact Information:


Central Branch Newsletters attached below:

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