Submit your nomination for NSCSW Council

Help shape the profession’s future in our province as part of the NSCSW Council

The Nova Scotia College of Social Workers’ Council is excited to announce that we are currently accepting nominations for several core roles:

  • President
  • Central Regional Representative
    • Halifax County and West Hants
  • Western Regional Representative
    • Yarmouth, Shelburne, Digby, Queens, Annapolis, Lunenburg and Kings counties
  • Northern Regional Representative
    • East Hants and Colchester, Cumberland and Pictou counties

The NSCSW Council plays a pivotal role in guiding the social work profession in Nova Scotia. We strive to ensure ethical and safe practices, advocate for social policies that foster social justice, and provide leadership to enhance pubic safety in the delivery of social work. By joining the Council, you will have the opportunity to make a significant impact on these critical areas.

Roles and Responsibilities of the NSCSW Council

Click here to download a description of the NSCSW President’s role.

In addition to the responsibilities stated in the by-laws, Council members have the following major roles and responsibilities: 

  1. Understands and demonstrate a commitment to the organization’s vision, mission, values and programs,
  2. Has overall stewardship responsibilities for the College,
  3. Has charge of the affairs of the College,
  4. May make or change regulations under the Social Workers Act
  5. Proposes bylaws and amendments for voting by members,
  6. Regularly attends Council meetings and important related meetings,
  7. Commits to actively organizing events and meetings in their regions in partnership with NSCSW staff in order to effectively communicate NSCSW vision, mission and values and seeks feedback for members,
    or;
  8. Participates in a Committee of Council
  9. Volunteers for and willingly accepts assignments and completes them thoroughly and on time,
  10. Stays informed about committee matters, prepares themselves well for meetings, and reviews and comments on minutes and reports,
  11. Gets to know other council members and builds a collegial working relationship that contributes to consensus,
  12. Is an active participant in the committee’s annual evaluation and planning efforts.

Council Nomination Process

If you’re passionate about social work and want to contribute to its growth and development in Nova Scotia, this is your chance. Submit your nomination no later than Monday, April 8 at 4:30 p.m. ADT by sending a letter of intent and interest to the Nomination Committee via Alec Stratford (Alec.Stratford@NSCSW.org). We look forward to your participation!

National Social Work Month conversation series

Please join us in March as we kick off a month of exciting events for National Social Work Month!

The scope of our profession is broad, and our members and their communities across the province are incredibly diverse, but this year’s theme — Seven Points of Unity; Many Possibilities — identifies common values that bring us together and lay a foundation for safer social work practice.

Our executive director Alec Stratford, has planned a month-long series of member consultations across the province. These important discussions will focus on the college’s upcoming strategic plan and our new code of ethics (based on the new code created by the Canadian Association of Social Workers).

The objectives of these consultations are:

  • to gain valuable insights from social workers about the future direction of the profession and NSCSW;
  • to gather feedback on the proposed strategic plan; and
  • to facilitate deeper discussion on the new Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

Alec will begin the month with a virtual session, then visit communities in each region of Nova Scotia for in-person consultations. These gatherings will offer a prime opportunity for social workers to engage in shaping the future direction of both the profession and the NSCSW.

Mark your calendars and join us for an insightful month dedicated to the many possibilities social workers have for building a more compassionate world, together. We look forward to seeing you there!

Reviewing the Candidacy Mentorship Program

The NSCSW has utilized the Candidacy Mentorship Program as a secondary assessment since 1993, with significant revisions to the program occurring in 2019. The Candidacy Mentorship Program (CMP) is a strategic initiative for graduates of accredited social work schools. It aims to provide a supportive and educational environment for professional development, grounded in adult learning principles. By pairing new graduates or those returning to practice (candidates) with seasoned practitioners (mentors), the CMP helps new registrants assimilate knowledge, apply skills, and put ethical principles into action during their initial years of practice.

The Candidacy Mentorship Program offers a fresh approach to evaluating student potential and readiness. Unlike traditional standardized testing methods, the CMP places a strong emphasis on practical experience, mentorship, and adherence to core social work values. This methodological shift allows for a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of a student’s capabilities, which can lead to more accurate and equitable outcomes.

During 2023, the College undertook a preliminary review of this program using a reflective thematic analysis of completed candidacy records from 2019-2022. The goal of this review was to evaluate if the program is meeting its core objectives, such as the program’s effectiveness in:

  • Integrating ethics,
  • Strengthening professional identity, and
  • Addressing occupational stress.

This review provided insights into the program’s strengths as well as areas for continued improvement. We are pleased to be able to share the result with you now:

Join the Candidacy Committee

The College’s candidacy committee has been on hiatus for several years, and is being reinstated to plan our next steps for the CMP. Council of the NSCSW is accepting letters of intent from any members interested in joining this work. 

Objectives 

Based on recommendations made in the review, the reinstated Candidacy Committee’s objectives will be to:

  • Strengthen mentor engagement;
  • Support the capacity of mentors to assess candidate character and competency;
  • Examine ways the NSCSW can meaningfully compensate mentors;
  • Examine the areas of the program that need revamping and revitalizing;
  • Update the CMP by incorporating the new CASW Code of Ethics content; and
  • Develop tools and resources for mentors and candidates.

Applications

Letters of intent and current CV can be sent to Alec Stratford (Alec.Stratford@NSCSW.org) no later then March 31, 2024.

African Heritage Month 2024: Our Smiles, Our Joy, Our Resilience

African Heritage Month is an opportunity to increase attention, education and learning about the culture, achievements and contributions of people of African descent. For those of us in this part of unceded Mi’kma’ki — where African ancestors first arrived more than 400 years ago, and which continues to be home to more than 50 historic African Nova Scotian communities — this month is a chance to reflect upon these issues and focus our learning. 

It is nevertheless important to ensure that Africentric learning and unlearning in our professional community is not limited to only one month a year. Indeed, the Canadian Association of Social Workers’ new code of ethics specifically calls upon social workers to reflect upon their own intersectional positionality and to understand that, unless one is actively working to dismantle systemic racism, one may inadvertently be contributing to harm, because we all live and work within systems that were created by colonialism and white supremacy. 

Therefore, this month of February, we encourage our members to begin to dive more deeply into these topics and to commit to sustained education and advocacy in this area. We have some specific education to help our members reflect upon ways that they can improve their ability to more safely care for individuals and communities that are of African descent. 

In alignment with the annual theme that was selected by the African Nova Scotian Affairs (ANSA) — Our Smiles, Our Joy, Our Resilience as African Nova Scotians — we have a lunch and learn on the topic of Black joy on February 28.  

We are also grateful to help support the dissemination of very important research on the provision of culturally inclusive mental health services for youth of African descent in this province this month. A one-day mini-conference on February 29 centred on the Voices that Count research project will share study findings, implications for service providers, and the researchers’ future outlook. 

We also hope that our members will take advantage of other learning opportunities offered in their communities, as part of their mandatory professional development on issues of diversity and anti-oppressive social work practice. Check out local and regional events, as well as webinars from CASW and online panel discussions with the Diversity and Equity Committee at the Dalhousie School of Social Work

We continue to advocate for more understanding on the effects of racism upon social work practice, and invite all French-speaking social workers to mark their calendars now for March 21. On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, as part of the Semaine de la Francophonie, Vincent Mousseau, RSW, will be speaking on the following topic: « Ma capacité à me définir est tributaire de ce que l’on veut m’assigner » : Mieux comprendre le développement identitaire des personnes Noires LGBTQ+. (Vincent offered an English-language webinar on their research in summer 2023, and the recording is on our YouTube channel.) 

2024 Social Work Month Launch

Mini-conference: Voices that count

Lunch & Learn: Afropessimism & Black joy

Collaborative care professional development series

The Nova Scotia College of Social Workers advocates for the integration of the psychosocial, spiritual and structural determinants of health care, as outlined in our Repositioning Social Work in Mental Health in Nova Scotia report and our Social Policy Framework. As part of this advocacy, we are partnering with colleagues from other disciplines who share our vision for an improved health care system. 

This interdisciplinary professional development series seeks to raise awareness of the importance of collaborative care to improve patient outcomes, and to build community between diverse health care professionals to reduce burnout and improve outcomes for us all.  

This series will alternate between panel discussions and self-care virtual lunches in which everyone will be encouraged to learn from one another and connect with each other in new and transformative ways. 

This new educational series is jointly organized and sponsored by a growing list of organizations from across Nova Scotia which so far includes the following:  

Other professional organizations that wish to join this collaboration should contact Naj Siritsky at NSiritsky@nscsw.org. 

Events

Supporting our self-care

These virtual lunch hour conversations invite allied practitioners to connect with each other, and share best practices and strategies for self-care.

Lunch & learn: BDSM & ethics

Lunch & Learn: Introducing flash for PTSD

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