Editor: The P.E.I. Association of Social Workers was pleased to see Social Work Month in Prince Edward Island and across Canada recognized in March.
Social workers are formally trained and educated professionals. A Bachelor of Social Work Degree is the minimum educational requirement to enter the field of Social Work on P.E.I. (and most other provinces in Canada). A person must meet certain requirements and standards set by the P.E.I. Social Work Registration Board, in order to be eligible for Social Work practice and legally call themselves a social worker. Social workers are also bound by a Code of Ethics to guide their practice.
Social workers are employed in a variety of areas such as hospitals, schools, mental health agencies, child protection agencies, probation/correctional services, victim services, addiction services, as well as in private practice doing counselling and/or consulting. They also work within various non-profit/non-governmental organizations. Through such work, social workers make a vital and distinct contribution to the health and well-being of our province.
The theme for March 2014 was “Social Workers: Promoting Equity for a Stronger Canada.” This theme reflected our professions on-going concern regarding reductions to our country’s social programs. Social work is a profession that promotes social justice, human rights, and the dignity and worth of all persons.
These programs are the core of social justice and are vital to social, economic and health equity within our country. Every day, we work with individuals and families who rely on such social programs to help meet their basic needs and reduce social, economic and health inequities. Canada’s social programs have historically been a sense of pride for our country however the erosion of these programs through government cutbacks is threatening the well-being of vulnerable citizens across all provinces and territories of our country. They are left even more vulnerable, and socio-economic inequity continues to grow. It is important that we ensure that such programs are strong and effective in helping people meet their needs and reach their potential.
Kelly MacWilliams, RSW
President, P.E.I. Association
of Social Workers