Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
In 1998, the Government of Ontario passed legislation requiring social workers and social service workers to become registered. As a result, the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers was created, yet regulation was opposed by a number of social workers and related groups. Therefore it seems there remain proponents and opponents of regulation. As registration carries implications for all practicing Ontarian social workers, this research explored the views of non-registered and registered social workers, about regulation. Through a qualitative analysis of the information compiled from ten participant interviews, six themes emerged: When Regulation Met Practice; Accountability: To Whom?; The Reciprocal Relationship of Power; The Protection Factor; Developing the Regulated Social Work Identity and Future Knowledge Building. Demonstrating the complexity of regulation, many uncertainties, confusions, concerns and ideological differences arose. Calls by participants for amendments to the current regulatory body reflect the diversity of those regulated and served, and emphasize a need for regulation to remain true to the values and advocacy roots of the profession. It is proposed that the College expand its role to include advocacy and education functions, as well as providing a more supportive and informed relationship with members, potential members and the public. Achieving these expectations amounts to creating a reflexive and inclusive entity. Although breaking the regulatory body molds, these suggestions are not viewed as the result of weaknesses in the profession or of regulation. Instead, recommended changes emulate a fluid, distinct, and diverse profession, requiring an atypical regulatory body.
Ungara, Danielle, "A Critical Analysis of the Regulation of Social Work" (2007). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 4744.
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