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BC ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS

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           BC ASSOCIATION
         OF SOCIAL WORKERS
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             STRATEGIC PLAN

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                     STATEMENT OF MISSION, PRINCIPLES AND OBJECTIVES


Mission: "We are the professional association of social workers in British Columbia and promote the
profession of Social Work. We advance Social Work practice and values to create a just and
compassionate society."

Logo: Our logo incorporates two symbols: the dove, which expresses freedom, peace and hope; and the
hand, which expresses help, humanity and caring. These qualities are embedded in BCASW’s mission
statement.

Principles:

We believe in:
       high quality service to our members
       advocacy for social justice
       fiscal responsibility
       democratic decision-making
       professional growth and development
       partnerships
       respect for diversity

Objectives:

        Provide the voice for the profession
        Enhance members' identification with the profession
        Promote scope and value of social work services
        Promote social justice
        Advocate for social policy and social services delivery responsive to the needs of social workers
        and clients
        Promote high standards of practice
        Advance professional, social and economic well-being of social workers
        Serve as definitive source of information on social work practice
        Encourage studies and research within the profession
        Promote collaborative relationships among sectors of the social work profession


                                            INTRODUCTION

The British Columbia Association of Social Workers' (BCASW) Strategic Plan is developed to guide and
focus the organization. It is reviewed and reaffirmed annually by the Board of Directors to safeguard that
the goals of the organization remain relevant and timely to our membership.


                                          PART I: END GOALS

BCASW is committed to the pursuit of the following end goals: professional advocacy, social advocacy,
and membership services. All three end goals are held to be of equal priority.




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I         PROFESSIONAL ADVOCACY/PROMOTION

Goal 1:           To advocate with government and community to advance the interests of the
                  social work profession related to the policy directions of government.

Objectives

1.        To articulate the role, skill sets and value of social work services in written materials and in oral
          presentations.

2.        To build ongoing relationships with politicians, and political as well as bureaucratic staff, in order
          to influence government policies.


Goal 2:           To monitor and address proposed legislation and/or changes to existing
                  legislation that has the potential to impact social work practice and the delivery of
                  services to client populations served by social workers.

Objectives

1.        To work collaboratively with Government and allied organizations/groups to ensure that changes
          are made to existing pieces of legislation and/or regulations that negatively impact on the practice
          of social work, and to support legislation and policies that have positive impacts.

          Rationale:       Legislation and/or regulations continue to restrict social work practice. Increasing
                           energies must be focused upon eliminating or reducing these barriers.

Goal 3:           To advocate for the interests of the social work profession related to the regulatory
                  context of practice.

While social work regulatory legislation serves as an important mechanism to enhance public protection,
a balance must be struck between the rights of the public to receive protection from unethical and
incompetent practice and the rights of the profession to a fair and transparent process.

Objectives

1.    To continue to advocate for the removal of the exclusions to registration found in the
      regulations of the Social Workers Act (2008).

2.        To work collaboratively with the British Columbia College of Social Workers (BCCSW) and other
          stakeholders to facilitate the regulation of social work practice for all practicing Social Workers in
          a manner that addresses the need for public protection and the profession’s need for and right to
          an open and equitable investigative process.

3.        To work collaboratively with the BCCSW to promote excellence in social work practice.

          Rationale:       BCASW can play a role in encouraging BCCSW to move forward in the
                           development of standards of practice



Goal 4:           To enhance the public’s understanding of the role and contribution of social
                  workers.

A key element of the mission of BCASW is the continued commitment to promote the profession of social
work, especially in the face of organizational restructuring, cuts in funding at all levels of government, and
the privatization of services. Central to this aim is the promotion of the professionalism of social workers.

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Objectives

1.        To articulate and to promote the role of social workers, with particular emphasis on emerging or
          changing roles, with members of the public, government, employers and colleagues in allied
          professions.

          Rationale:      It is important to increase awareness regarding the profession’s academic
                          credentials, skill sets and accountability mechanisms that qualify social workers
                          to perform a diverse array of roles.

2.        To articulate and to promote the role of the profession in the media in the course of responding to
          social issues.

3.        To foster linkages with British Columbia schools of social work, social and health sector
          associations, BC College of Social Workers and related groups in order to advance the interests
          and concerns of the profession and to provide a strong, collective voice for social work.

4.        To monitor, provide resources and take action to mitigate against the potential marginalization or
          deprofessionalization of social workers.

5.        To work collaboratively with CASW and the provincial/territorial associations to promote the
          profession.

6.        To promote BCASW as a professional membership association that has direct linkages to the
          national association (CASW) and through CASW to the international level (IFSW).

          Rationale:      Social workers are connected through branch, provincial, national and
                          international levels of professional activity.


Goal 5:           To heighten the profile of the profession and the Association

Objectives

1.        To play an instrumental role in encouraging and enabling branches, agencies/ organizations and
          schools of social work to host a wide range of educational and social events during Social Work
          Week to highlight the role and contribution of the profession and the Association.

2.        To provide information and ideas as well as promotional and resource materials to branches,
          schools of social work, agencies and groups to facilitate the hosting of events and activities
          during Social Work Week.

3.        To provide resource materials to BCASW branches linking the theme to relevant social and/or
          practice issues and encouraging branches to use these linkages to promote the role of social
          work in media, public forums, etc.

          Rationale:      The general public often lacks information about the qualifications of social
                          workers, their role, the services they provide as well as the kinds of issues social
                          workers address.

3.        To publicize Social Work Week through Perspectives and media profiles of social work leaders,
          the British Columbia recipient of CASW Distinguished Service Award and recipients of branch
          awards or recognition.

4.        To heighten the profile of the profession by identifying, publicizing and recognizing individuals,
          employers, groups and initiatives that demonstrate best practices in social work


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5.        to identify members who will act as regional or provincial spokespersons, and who are available
          to speak on behalf of BCASW in response to requests from media, etc.


Goal 6:           To heighten the profile of social workers by identifying, publicizing and
                  recognizing activities, groups, individuals and employers

Objectives:

1.        to proactively identify recipients for the CASW Distinguished Service Award (BC) as well as other
          awards

2.        to explore other options for Social Work awards



Goal 7:           To strengthen social work practice by contributing to the development of
                  resources for professional practice and ongoing opportunities for professional
                  growth.

Social workers practice in a diverse number of settings, and the professional association can play an
important role in articulating the role of practitioners within these settings, contribute to professional
growth and development through continuing education events and support members through its
mentoring program.

Objectives

1.        To involve BCASW practice-based committees/task groups in the articulation of guidelines that
          outline the values and principles of practice as well as the functions performed by social workers
          within diverse settings.

2.        To publish and distribute professional practice resource materials, brochures, handouts and
          articles on various areas of practice.

3.        To develop and sustain a mentoring program that will support social work practitioners.

4.        To provide a variety of branch-based and provincial-based professional development events,
          including an annual Fall Conference

5.        To develop a variety of networks and forums that enable social workers to connect and
          communicate.


II        SOCIAL ADVOCACY

Goal 1:           To effectively influence positive change in social policies and promote social
                  justice.

BCASW must continue to enhance its position as a strong and credible voice for the profession on social
issues in order to fulfil its mission with respect to social justice. Positions taken by the Association will
relay the principles and values of social workers.

Objectives

1.        To develop, implement and monitor strategies to influence government policies.



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          Rationale:      The Association needs to utilize a multi-pronged approach that attempts to
                          influence the positions taken by government in order to advance the interests
                          and the values of the profession and the needs of clients served as it relates to
                          pertinent government policies, programs and practices. Efforts to bring about
                          change must be well-planned, varied and ongoing.

2.        To provide effective advocacy by identifying and prioritizing issues within the context of limited
          financial and personnel resources.

3.        To ensure that the work of BCASW’s committees is aligned with the strategic direction and overall
          focus of the organization.

          Rationale:      The credibility of BCASW’s policy positions depends upon the quality of data and
                          arguments presented.

5.        To publicize, in a timely manner, social policy positions taken by BCASW

6.        To establish coalitions with other organizations and groups who share similar interests and
          concerns about the impact of social policy in order to exert greater pressure on government.

          Rationale:      Not only is there strength in numbers, but resources should not be expended in
                          duplicating work that is already effectively being carried out in various areas.
                          Instead, wherever possible, emphasis should be placed on building upon the
                          efforts of other groups who have demonstrated expertise regarding key issues.
                          Furthermore, the formation of coalitions can serve to strengthen the collective
                          voice of those advocating for social change.

Goal 2:           To demonstrate leadership on issues of human rights.

Regressive ideology within the broader community increasingly poses a threat to fundamental human
rights. BCASW needs to be proactive in taking positions on issues that can lead to the erosion of these
rights.

Objectives

1.        To develop positions on human rights issues based upon the values of the profession.

2.        To foster linkages and coalitions with other groups who share similar values and concerns to
          strengthen advocacy related to human rights issues.


III       MEMBERSHIP SERVICES

Goal 1:           To advance the interests of all members in the areas of employment services.

BCASW has a role to play in the provision of employment services, in light of such factors as
deprofessionalization, changes in the delivery of services, lack of inclusiveness by employers, job market
shrinkage, organizational restructuring and the privatization of services.

Objectives

1.        To develop, provide and update a range of employment resource materials and job-related
          initiatives.

          Rationale:      Resource materials and information, consultations and expert advice are needed
                          to deal with a growing number of legal and ethical issues confronted by social
                          workers in the workplace. In addition, members are interested in job-related


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                          initiatives such as information on salaries and working conditions, and
                          workshops.

2.        To support initiatives that seek to remove barriers and support advancement within social work
          employment for social workers from diverse backgrounds.

Goal 2:           To facilitate continuing competency opportunities for social workers

The changing composition and diverse nature of the communities where social workers serve,
requirements related to regulatory legislation, as well as new theories and approaches to service delivery
necessitate the ongoing upgrading of our members' knowledge and skills.

Objectives

1.        To establish partnerships with other organizations/groups to enable members to access
          workshops, conferences, courses and materials that are timely and affordable.

2.        To identify continuing competency needs in collaboration with schools of social work, other
          educational institutions and the profession’s regulatory body to assist in the provision of programs
          to our members across the province.

Goal 3:           To provide a range of services and benefits that meet the needs and interests of
                  members.

The provision of personal services that are valued and relevant to all its members is central to BCASW's
future ability to attract and hold members. Services can also provide an alternate source of revenue for
the Association.

Objectives

1.        To provide a range of services that respond to identified needs and interests of members, on a
          cost-recovery or profit basis.

2.        To monitor and evaluate the usage and effectiveness of present services and identify potential
          services that would be valued by various groups of members if provided by BCASW.

3.        To enhance the capability of branches to deliver services to members as well as provide access
          to services provided by the Provincial Office.

          Rationale:      Many branches have considerable experience in providing services. As well, the
                          needs of members can vary based on location. Branches may be more in touch
                          with members' needs and provide a more convenient, cost-effective source of
                          information and service.

Goal 4:           To provide services targeting the distinct needs of self-employed social workers in
                  clinical and non-clinical forms of independent social work practices.

Objectives

1.        To lobby insurance companies, employers and unions to cover social work services under third-
          party payments by implementing and monitoring a strategy to advocate for the inclusion of social
          workers as mental health counsellors in workplace benefits packages.

2.        To monitor trends, provide information/resources and take necessary action in relation to
          independent social work practice.

3.        To develop, provide and update information, resources and consultation about the requirements


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          of establishing and maintaining a private practice.

4.        To host a website roster of Registered Social Workers in private practice as a BCASW member
          benefit in order to promote and publicize their services.

5.        To recommend fee ranges for social workers in clinical and non-clinical practices
          that are commensurate with levels of social work qualifications, training and expertise.


Goal 5: To provide services targeting the distinct needs of students.

Objectives

1.        To provide a range of services that respond to the needs and interests of student members.

2.        To monitor and evaluate the usage and effectiveness of present services and identify potential
          services that would be valued by student members if provided by BCASW.


                                          PART II: MEANS GOALS

The means goals provide the vehicles or supports which enable BCASW to promote the goals of the
profession.

I         MEMBERSHIP BASE

Goal 1:           To ensure the ongoing stability and expansion of BCASW's membership within
                  present eligibility requirements.

The size of BCASW's membership strongly affects its resource base and therefore its ability to respond
effectively to the external environment and the needs of its members. The ongoing stability of BCASW's
membership is critical to the organization's credibility, viability and effectiveness.

Objectives

1.        To continually provide evidence to the membership of the services and benefits they are receiving
          for their fees.

          Rationale:      Since members access information in different ways, the Association will
                          continue to identify a variety of innovative methods to dispense information.

2.        To develop and establish priorities to implement short- and long-term recruitment and retention
          strategies which target under-represented groups of social workers (eg., visible minorities, early
          career social workers/new graduates).

          Rationale:      Membership in BCASW is voluntary. Potential and actual members need
                          reasons to join or remain members that correspond to their needs, interests and
                          personal circumstances.

1.        To develop and implement strategies and materials for the retention of non-renewing members
          and the recruitment of former members.

2.        To implement strategies to enable branches to better understand the composition of the local
          social work community and to more effectively communicate the value of BCASW membership to
          under-represented groups within the branches and Association.

3.        To develop and implement strategies to recruit and retain students and new graduates to enable


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          branches to more effectively communicate the value of BCASW membership to students and
          recent graduates.

          Rationale:       Students represent the future of the profession, and the future strength of
                           BCASW is dependent upon their understanding and ongoing support for
                           BCASW’s role.

4.        To develop and implement strategies to recruit and retain practicing social workers to enable
          branches to more effectively communicate the value of BCASW membership to them.

Goal 2:           To ensure that BCASW communicates the inclusive nature of our organization to
                  current and potential members.

Objectives

1.        To ensure that membership materials and positions taken by the Association take into
          consideration issues of inclusion.

2.        To ensure that BCASW uses a variety of existing vehicles of communication to keep members,
          and where possible potential members, informed about our activities in this regard.


II        FINANCES

Goal 1:           To ensure the ongoing financial viability of BCASW.

Membership fees remain BCASW's primary source of revenue. As such, priority continues to need to be
given to prudent financial management and targeting services to meet the needs of members.

Objective

1.        To continuously monitor the organization's revenue and expenditures and to develop and
          implement pro-active strategies to make the most prudent and judicious use of limited Association
          revenue.

Goal 2:           To explore creative ways of augmenting and/or generating revenue.

Objective

1.        To continue to explore a range of cost-sharing and revenue-generating initiatives and
          partnerships that will assist in preserving our level of services while not deflecting from the
          Association's values and goals.


Goal 3:           To explore creative ways of making BCASW membership accessible to those for
                  whom finances pose a barrier to joining.
Objective

1.        To continue to examine a variety of flexible options to promote membership for potential
          members.


III       STRUCTURE AND COMMUNICATIONS

Goal 1:           To ensure that there is an organizational structure that is conducive to attaining
                  and enhancing the Association’s mandate.



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Within the Association, there is an interdependency and dynamic balance between branches and the
provincial organization. Functions and activities may be located within the provincial organization and/or
branches to provide opportunities for responsive and creative input and decision-making while effectively
advancing BCASW’s mandate.

Objectives

1.        To periodically evaluate the provincial and branch organizational structure to ensure that it
          remains conducive to fulfilling BCASW’s mandate.

          Rationale:      Rising costs, increasing demands for concrete manifestations of the value of
                          holding BCASW membership, and limitations on the discretionary time that social
                          workers can give, means that the Association must find efficient and cost-
                          effective ways of conducting business to do more with less. The organizational
                          structure may need to be periodically modified to meet this challenge.

2.        To maintain the vitality and relevance of the provincial organization by providing proactive
          information, innovative ideas and feedback to the branches.

3.        To contribute to the vitality of the branches through provincial support, resources, leadership
          development, etc.

4.        To provincially support branches and assist with initiatives related to: social and professional
          advocacy; recruitment and retention; professional development; promotion of the profession;
          education; recognition; partnership initiatives; employment issues; networking/professional
          affiliation; and communication to local members (e.g., newsletters, email, websites).

Goal 2:           To facilitate effective communication with and amongst members and non-
                  members.

The visibility and continuous viability of the Association is tied to our ability to communicate effectively
with not only our members, but also with potential members. Given the importance of providing
information about the profession’s and the Association’s goals, objectives, interests and concerns,
creative use must be made of a variety of communications media.


Objectives

1.        To utilize Perspectives as a means of providing information to members and key stakeholders
          regarding issues of interest and concern to the profession and the Association.

2.        To use electronic means (website, email, e-bulletins, online surveys, etc.), to communicate
          information to members and potential members about the Association activities.

Goal 3:           To expand the mandate and enhance the composition of BCASW’s Nominating
                  Committee to advise the Provincial Board and Executive Committee on strategies
                  to increase diversity within the leadership of the Association.
Objectives

1.        To identify gaps in the representation of diverse groups within the leadership of the Association.

2.        To advise on the implementation of proactive strategies, including the development of recruitment
          materials, to reach out to social work leaders from diverse groups to encourage them to serve on
          the BCASW Executive Committee, the Provincial Board and its Committees.

3.        To advise the branches on strategies to recruit members from diverse groups to serve on Branch
          Boards and Committees.


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4.        To establish benchmarks to monitor and evaluate the success of recruitment strategies over the
          next five to seven years.

Goal 4:           To develop short and long-range strategies to enhance inclusiveness within
                  BCASW.

Objective

1.        To advise the President, Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Branches and Provincial Staff
          on changes that may need to be taken related to the infrastructure of the Association and
          collaboration with the broader social work community to enhance diversity within the organization.

APPENDIX
To include membership #s, Branches, and List of Board




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