As I reflect on our robust year of activities, critical thought, and advocacy, it’s clear the College is headed in a direction that is actively contributing to building a stronger Nova Scotia in collaboration with our members.
This year began with a clear vision to renew the College’s professional commitments, values, ethics and practices to ensure they’re in the best interest of protecting the public. We set out to strengthen our support to the public and members so, social workers can do what they do best: provide evidence-based, compassionate and ethically guided services.
Part of our 2017 vision included building authentic, two-way communications with members.
This started with our bi-weekly member newsletter to continuously highlight College activities, professional development opportunities and more. We also sparked engaged conversation through our social media platforms, blog and brought social work stories to life through the reimagined Connection magazine. Members continue to share their research, stories, and insight in January 2018 issue.
Meaningful face-to-face conversations and collaboration with members were also a key part of our vision. We created the following committees where members’ have dedicated their time and insight:
- Social Justice Committee
- Professional Development Committee
- Professional Standards Committee
- Private Practice Committee
- Policy & Advocacy Committee
- Connection Magazine Editorial Committee
As a member-driven organization, we rely heavily on volunteers to help shape the profession. The committee response has been extremely positive so we will recruit more members in the winter.
With our members, we delivered over 11 empowering, accessible and sustainable professional development opportunities in addition to our two conferences (which both had an increase in attendees!).
We’ve also been hard at work to further develop our regulatory practices.
The Candidacy Committee is committed to building a revamped program with clear expectations and objectives. During social work month in March, we launched the Ethical Decision-Making tool and recently we started an in-depth review of our professional development standards.
Council is reviewing the College’s overall governance policy and bylaws to ultimately modernize our governance processes. Informed with your input, Council and the Board of Examiners are also finalizing a five-year strategic plan. Over the next five years, you will witness these outcome-oriented goals put into action.
We are committed to implementing two advocacy strategies aimed at child protection and mental health. Social workers know these systems intimately and they desperately need a change in their models. The Policy and Advocacy committee is building a social policy framework to help us proactively and reactively respond to the issues that matter to members. In addition, as the College’s Registrar/Executive Director, I’ve joined the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives-Nova Scotia as the chair of the steering committee.
As we head into 2018, the College is excited to bring more opportunities to your communities to connect and collaborate as a social work community.
Together, we will work in solidarity with Nova Scotians to advocate for policies that improve social conditions, challenge injustice and value diversity.