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About social workers

Social workers are regulated health professionals who work with individuals, families, groups and communities to enhance their individual and collective well-being. Social workers advocate for social justice, human rights, and equitable access to health and social services. They provide counselling, therapy and problem-solving interventions and help individuals gain access to information and resources (e.g., community support programs). In addition, they address broader social issues such as oppression, discrimination, domestic violence, unemployment and poverty.

Social workers are usually employed in hospitals, community health centres, mental health clinics, schools, advocacy organizations, government departments, social services agencies, child-welfare settings, family services agencies, correctional facilities, social housing organizations, family courts, employee assistance and private counselling programs, school boards and consultation agencies. 

CIHI collects high-level, standardized information on 30 groups of health care professionals in Canada. This includes information on their supply, distribution, demographics and regulatory environment. To find out more about CIHI’s health workforce data, visit the Health Workforce Database metadata page.

Learn more about social workers in our recent release on Canada’s health care providers.