Media Backgrounder


The BC Association of Social Workers is the voice of professional social workers in British Columbia. Incorporated in 1956, BCASW is a not-for-profit, voluntary membership association whose mission is to promote the profession of Social Work and to advocate for social justice.

BCASW partners with the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW). Through CASW we support the work of the International Federation of Social Workers. BCASW has nine branches and approximately 1200 members throughout BC.

For further information, contact the BCASW Executive Director, or BCASW President.


Social workers are highly trained and experienced professionals who have earned degrees at the bachelors, masters or doctoral levels. The practice of Social Work requires knowledge of human development and behaviour, of social, economic and cultural institutions, and of the interaction of all these factors. Social workers help individuals, families, groups and communities to realize their potential and assist people to enjoy full, active and creative lives. They work to create social and environmental conditions to enhance quality of life and to develop the full potential of each individual, group and community in society. Social workers are counsellors, advocates, educators, policy analysts, administrators, activists, facilitators, mediators, organizers and researchers. They:

  • work with individuals, families, groups and communities to shape and change the conditions in which they live
  • advocate for disadvantaged members of society
  • work towards the elimination of structural inequalities in society to facilitate a more equitable distribution of social, economic and political resources
  • engage in research to build our knowledge base and understanding of society
  • analyze, challenge and develop social policies

 Social workers are found in every facet of community life – hospitals, mental health clinics, seniors programs, child welfare agencies, family service organizations, schools, treatment programs, correctional facilities, in private practice, and various private and public agencies serving people in need.

The Social Work profession is based on a commitment to social justice, equity, respect for diversity, and critical thinking.





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