President's Message

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I am pleased to be your President for the 2005-2007 term and look forward to our work the next two years to advance our profession and advocate for social justice for the benefit of the people we serve. The mandate for our College is stated in the Health Professions Act:

The mission and goals of the College are to promote, regulate and govern the profession of social work in the Province of Alberta; to advocate for skilled and ethical social work practices; and, to advocate for policies, programs and services that promote the profession and protect the best interests of the public

ACSW has come along way since the Health Professions Act was first proclaimed and with it mandatory regulation of our profession as one of the College’s core functions. The staff has worked very hard to develop and implement processes for carrying out the College’s regulation responsibilities. We recognize, however, that we need to continue to listen to members about your experiences with registration and continuing competency requirements so that the Council and staff learn and grow in our ability to implement the requirements in the Act for registration and regulation in a positive, responsible manner to benefit our members and the public we serve. The staff and Council at the same time are committed to working towards balance so that membership services, with promotion of the profession and advocacy for social justice, are given equal weight with our regulation function. This is not an easy task but one we must be dedicated to achieving and with your assistance our goal is to move significantly in achieving this balance the next two years In moving toward balance the Council has set an ambitious agenda which includes continuing the work of the past Council in strengthening our internal communication network and clarifying organizational structure and policies and regulatory functions. In addition to this essential organizational work we have committed ourselves to being pro active in educating the public and employers about who we are as a profession with the myriad ways we serve all the citizens of Alberta. In emphasizing the essential nature of what we do for the health and well being of Albertans we will note critical roles for social workers working in partnership with allied professionals in all sectors of health and human service practice. To employers we will point out what our professional practice requires in terms of access to professional supervision, manageable work load, and support for professional development. What many view as steady erosion in the position of our profession in health and human services leadership as well as front line positions in Alberta and across Canada will not change over night. We must, however, respond to this erosion and the serious dilemma our profession faces of escalating needs for our skills and knowledge while facing a significant devaluation by the public of much of the work we do, particularly in social services. To meet this challenge we need a strong sense of professional identity and clear sense of purpose projected both by you as inpidual practitioners and by the work we do the next two years in our education and social justice work. We have much to do but working together we can accomplish a great deal.

Copyright 2010 Alberta College of Social Workers