Social Worker

Social workers are health care professionals  that may diagnose, evaluate and treat individual,  interpersonal and societal problems through the use of their social work knowledge, their skills, interventions and strategies to help their clients achieve the best psychosocial and social functioning.

Problems that social workers help solve include:

  • Mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Relationship problems
  • Adjusting to life crises or changes due to ageing or adapting to a new environment.
  • Suicide ideation
  • Grief and loss
  • Addictions
  • Recovering from physical or sexual abuse
  • Caregiver-related pressures

By using counselling and psychotherapy, Social workers provide services in a variety of different settings. This includes hospitals, addiction centers, senior centers, correctional facilities, schools and private, public and family clinics.  Some of these services provided by social workers include: 

  • Individual, family and couple assessments 
  • Counselling for eating disorders, addiction, mental health problems, grief, social and relationship problems etc.
  • Psychotherapy
  • Managing stress
  • Adoption planning
  • Resolving disputes
  • Career/employment counselling and placement
  • Assessing child custody/access 

A Registered Social Worker will have a Bachelor of Social Work degree, a Master of Social Work or both.  He/she has a social work class of certificate of registration with the College of Social Workers and has a different scope of practise than a Social Service Worker.

In Ontario, “Social Worker” is a regulated profession subject to the Code of Ethics and Standards for Practice defined by the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers of Ontario. For more information on regulatory colleges, view our What is a Regulatory College page.