The Nova Scotia College of Social Workers exists to serve and protect Nova Scotians by effectively regulating the profession of social work. We work in solidarity with Nova Scotians to advocate for policies that improve social conditions, challenge injustice and value diversity.
What we focus on to deliver on our mandate:
We establish, maintain, and regulate standards of professional practice to ensure Nova Scotians receive the services of skilled and competent social workers who are knowledgeable, ethical, qualified, and accountable to the people who receive social work services.
We provide membership services to support registered social workers in maintaining the highest standards of professional competency, and that enable participation in a broader provincial social work community.
We engage with members, Government, employers, community groups, and citizens to build a stronger social work community, and to advance the social work profession in Nova Scotia.
We engage with Nova Scotia’s social work community in advocating for improvement to social policies, programs, and social justice.
We provide responsive, accountable leadership to ensure the highest standards of social work for Nova Scotians.
Our work is grounded in integrity and professionalism which calls on us to be:
We are respectful of the inherent dignity of every individual, and strives for cultural humility and social change.
We provide accessible services & communicate province-wide to members, stakeholders, and the public.
We follow the established national social work Code of Ethics that adheres to the profession’s values.
We are proactive in reflecting the values of social work, and supports innovation through education, research, and transformative community engagement, for the sake of social justice.
The College is governed by our elected Council, Executive, and Standing Committees. Council is the College’s main governing body.
College staff assists these groups to ensure the College functions on behalf of the membership between annual general meetings.
The following College Council executives are elected by the members and take office after the AGM:
Council is also represented by these eight appointed members:
The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) also has a representative who is an ex-official member.
As the governing body, Council is responsible for the Amended Social Workers Act mandate and ensures that Social Workers Regulations are upheld. Council also works with members to create the College’s Bylaws.
Council representation also includes elected regional representatives.
The regions include one or more counties and are (from north to south):
Social workers work in a variety of settings including family services agencies, children’s aid agencies, general and psychiatric hospitals, school boards, correctional institutions, welfare administration agencies, federal and provincial departments. An increasing number of social workers work in private practice.
Social workers provide services as members of a multi-disciplinary team or on one-to-one basis with the client.
Most social workers work full-time although it is possible to work part-time. Recent graduates in social work practice under supervision for administrative and professional development purposes. Many employers offer staff development training. Social workers providing direct services spend most of their time with clients in their offices or in the client’s home. They also spend time in consultation with other professionals such as psychologists, teachers, physicians, lawyers or ether persons concerned in a specific case.
Social work education consists of theoretical courses and practical training at the undergraduate or graduate level. A Bachelor of Social Work (SW) is the minimum educational requirement for entry into the profession in Nova Scotia. Postgraduate education leading to a masters or doctoral degree is also available.
A three or four year undergraduate program is required for a bachelor’s degree. Students who have Bachelor of SW may obtain a master’s degree after one year of post-graduate studies.
Those who have a degree in another discipline are required to complete a two-year post-graduate program in social work to obtain a master’s degree in social work. Most social work programs are accredited by the Canadian-Association of Schools of Social Work. This association publishes a directory of accredited programs. As admission requirements and program orientation vary between schools, interested persons should consult the directory or communicate with the school of their choice