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Social work oversight engagement report released

Press Release

VICTORIA – A social work oversight engagement report provides an understanding of the diverse range of needs, perspectives and opinions surrounding social work oversight gathered during an extensive public consultation.

Between spring 2022 and fall 2023, the Ministry of Children and Family Development engaged with social workers, ministry partners and the public on several topics, such as practice requirements, standards and ethics; recruitment and retention; equity, inclusion, anti-racism; and truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

Three key themes emerged from the discussions:

accountability – ensuring social worker accountability to protect public safety;
access – addressing systemic barriers that come with regulated oversight, supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism and truth and reconciliation, and improving the registration process overall; and
quality – supporting the delivery of high-quality social work to enhance the well-being of families, individuals and communities.

There was no consensus on a singular approach to oversight. Some participants called for an increase in regulation of social workers, while others raised issues and concerns with the current state of social work oversight as being “colonial and inflexible.”

Participant submissions included:

differing opinions on mandatory registration and education versus skills/knowledge required for social workers;
lack of consensus on regulation of workers without social work degrees;
how oversight changes would intersect with Indigenous jurisdiction;
needing to invest in social work education, and supports for recruitment and retention efforts; and
continuing professional development, such as mandatory trauma-informed care and gender-diversity training.

To determine next steps, the ministry will continue to meet with Indigenous Peoples and partners from the health and social sectors, social work educators, social work representatives and youth to explore the impacts and effects that any potential changes to social work oversight may have.

Learn More:

Read the Social Work Oversight Engagement Report on govTogetherBC:


Ministry of Children and Family Development
Media Relations
250 507-3418


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