The Mission of the School of Social Work at Carleton University

At the School of Social Work, we are committed to academic excellence and to promoting equity and social justice. Students are actively engaged in academic, practical and professional skill and knowledge development in preparation for their future roles as competent and accountable social workers and advocates of progressive social change. We continue to build relationships and alliances with the larger social work/welfare community in the Ottawa area.

The social work programs at Carleton University are based on the structural approach to social work. This approach provides a framework for critically engaging with, and analyzing, social work knowledge, social work practice and social policy development. It is based on an understanding of how economic, social, political and legislative contexts shape individual, community and societal problems. At the School of Social Work, we promote the development of innovative social work practices directed toward advancing equity and social justice as well as individual and societal change. Through this approach, students are being prepared to address injustices and inequities in a range of roles. This may be working directly with individuals, families and communities. It may also be working indirectly on addressing social justice in, and through, government and civil society organizations.

At the School of Social Work we are committed to the principles of educational equity as articulated in our Education Equity Statement, and to a collaborative teaching and learning environment among students, faculty, administrative staff and the community. Students are involved in the governance of the School and are members of School Committees. Working co-operatively and collectively may mean that diverse ideas and perspectives are brought forward which may lead to disagreement, uncertainty and conflict–standard parts of learning and growing. How we deal with disagreement and conflict is a central part of learning, particularly for students preparing to enter the complex world of social work. As members of the School, we strive to resolve conflict constructively and fairly and we actively promote an environment of professional conduct that is in line with the Code of Ethics developed by our professional body, the Canadian Association of Social Workers. The code includes respect and high levels of civility among students, faculty, administrative staff and our community partners.