OF SOCIAL WORKERS
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
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
We believe in:
high quality service to our members
advocacy for social justice
professional growth and development
respect for diversity
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
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
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.
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.
1. To articulate the role, skill sets and value of social work services in written materials and in oral
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
1. to proactively identify recipients for the CASW Distinguished Service Award (BC) as well as other
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
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
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
II SOCIAL ADVOCACY
Goal 1: To effectively influence positive change in social policies and promote social
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.
1. To develop, implement and monitor strategies to influence government policies.
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
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
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.
1. To develop, provide and update a range of employment resource materials and job-related
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
initiatives such as information on salaries and working conditions, and
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
branches to more effectively communicate the value of BCASW membership to students and
Rationale: Students represent the future of the profession, and the future strength of
BCASW is dependent upon their understanding and ongoing support for
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.
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.
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.
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
Goal 2: To explore creative ways of augmenting and/or generating revenue.
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.
1. To continue to examine a variety of flexible options to promote membership for potential
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.
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.
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
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-
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
To include membership #s, Branches, and List of Board