Social workers perform some or all of the following duties:
Interview clients individually, in families, or in groups, to assess their situation and problems and determine the types of services required
Provide counsel and therapy to assist clients in developing skills to deal with and resolve their social and personal problems
Plan programs of assistance for clients including referral to agencies that provide financial assistance, legal aid, housing, medical treatment and other services
Investigate cases of child abuse or neglect and take authorized protective action when necessary
Serve as members on interdisciplinary teams of professionals working with client groups
Act as advocates for client groups in the community, lobby for solutions to problems directly affecting client groups and develop prevention and intervention programs to meet community needs
Develop or advise on social policy legislation, conduct social research and assist in community development
Provide mediation services and psychosocial assessments
Evaluate the effectiveness of counselling and social programs
May provide public education and consultation to professionals or groups regarding counselling services, issues and methods
May supervise other social workers.
Social workers may specialize in fields of practice such as child welfare, family services, corrections, gerontology or addictions.
A bachelor’s degree in social work is required in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
In Alberta, a bachelor’s degree or diploma in social work is required.
Supervised practical experience is usually required.
Successful completion of provincial written and oral examinations may be required.
Registration with a provincial governing body is mandatory to practise as a social worker in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
Use of the titles “Social Worker” and “Registered Social Worker” is regulated in all provinces.
Membership in a provincial association of social workers is usually required.
Educational counsellors (4033)
Family, marriage and other related counsellors (4153)
Managers in social, community and correctional services (0423)
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