SSW Award Nominations close on December 31
SSW Award Nominations will be open in
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General Award Information (please read carefully prior to nominating a candidate)

The Ontario Social Service Worker Association will be accepting nominations for the following merits/citations listed below. The nomination period will open December 1st of each year and will firmly close December 31st of the same year. There will be no consideration of nominations post this date. Nominations can be made generally by any person from the public, or social service worker etc. Please review each award for any exceptions listed. The nominee must meet the eligibility requirements, and be considered a suitable nominee as described in the merit/citation descriptions listed below. If you are unsure if the nominee is registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), please visit the public register. If you are looking to verify if the nominee holds an active membership with the Ontario Social Service Worker Association (OSSWA), please visit the member directory. If you are looking to see if a College of Applied Arts & Technology holds an active membership with the Ontario Social Service Worker Association (OSSWA), please visit the member directory. If you are not sure of the above, please contact the Ontario Social Service Worker Association (OSSWA) for more details.

Barbara Baker Distinguished Social Service Work Merit

This distinguished merit is the most prestigious recognition conferred from the Ontario Social Service Worker Association. Nominees must possess the highest calibre of social service work practice, in any field. Only one merit in this category is presented annually, during the annual award ceremony, held during social service worker week in March.

Eligibility requirements: The recipient of this award must possess a current (non-expired) general certificate of registration as a registered social service worker (RSSW) in good standing from the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). The candidate in addition, must be a practising member, active with the Ontario Social Service Worker Association. Recipients of this merit, which are not currently members of the Ontario Social Service Worker Association will be required to apply and be approved for practicing membership, prior to receiving the merit. Recipients of this merit must at all times hold a general certificate of registration as a registered social service worker (RSSW) in good standing from the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), including at the time of nomination, throughout the selection process, and still while receiving the merit.

Who can nominate: Any member of the public, social service worker etc. The individual cannot nominate themselves.

Clinical Social Service Work Leadership Citation

This citation validates the exemplary practice of a member of the Ontario Social Service Worker Association which is engaged in clinical social service work and leadership. Recipients must be actively working, engaged or volunteering in clinical social service work and be considered a leader in clinical social service work. Clinical social service work and leadership may be considered positions in which one or more of the following is undertaken (not an exhaustive list) counselling, psychotherapy, private practice, crisis intervention, health services or may require the use of the one or more of the following skills including assessment, treatment and evaluation. Please note that diagnostic social work is only in the scope of practice of the profession of social work and cannot be considered as a skill for the purposes of this citation. Typically only one to two citations in this category are presented annually, during the annual award ceremony, held during social service worker week in March.

Eligibility requirements: The recipient of this award must possess a current (non-expired) general certificate of registration as a registered social service worker (RSSW) in good standing from the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). The candidate in addition, must be a practising member, active with the Ontario Social Service Worker Association. Recipients of this merit, which are not currently members of the Ontario Social Service Worker Association will be required to apply and be approved for practicing membership, prior to receiving the merit. Recipients of this merit must at all times hold a general certificate of registration as a registered social service worker (RSSW) in good standing from the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), including at the time of nomination, throughout the selection process, and still while receiving the merit.

Who can nominate: Any member of the public, social service worker etc. The individual cannot nominate themselves.

Community Social Service Work Leadership Citation

This citation validates the exemplary practice of a member of the Ontario Social Service Worker Association which is engaged in community social service work and leadership. Recipients must be actively working, engaged or volunteering in community social service work and be considered a leader in community social service work. Community social service work and leadership may be considered positions in which one or more of the following is undertaken (not an exhaustive list) advocacy, policy, research, administration, program delivery, or may require the use of the one or more of the following skills including fundraising, philanthropy, planning community change, executing community change, community building and organising. Typically only one to two citations in this category are presented annually, during the annual award ceremony, held during social service worker week in March.

Eligibility requirements: The recipient of this award must possess a current (non-expired) general certificate of registration as a registered social service worker (RSSW) in good standing from the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). The candidate in addition, must be a practising member, active with the Ontario Social Service Worker Association. Recipients of this merit, which are not currently members of the Ontario Social Service Worker Association will be required to apply and be approved for practicing membership, prior to receiving the merit. Recipients of this merit must at all times hold a general certificate of registration as a registered social service worker (RSSW) in good standing from the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), including at the time of nomination, throughout the selection process, and still while receiving the merit.

Who can nominate: Any member of the public, social service worker etc. The individual cannot nominate themselves.

2SLGBTQIA+ Social Service Work Leadership Citation

This citation validates the exemplary practice of a member of the Ontario Social Service Worker Association which is engaged in advocacy, support or related efforts in the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and social service work. Recipients must be actively working, engaged or volunteering in the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and social service work. The recipient does not need to identify as apart of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, however this is a tremendous asset. Typically only one to two citations in this category are presented annually, during the annual award ceremony, held during social service worker week in March.

Eligibility requirements: The recipient of this award must possess a current (non-expired) general certificate of registration as a registered social service worker (RSSW) in good standing from the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). The candidate in addition, must be a practising member, active with the Ontario Social Service Worker Association. Recipients of this merit, which are not currently members of the Ontario Social Service Worker Association will be required to apply and be approved for practicing membership, prior to receiving the merit. Recipients of this merit must at all times hold a general certificate of registration as a registered social service worker (RSSW) in good standing from the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), including at the time of nomination, throughout the selection process, and still while receiving the merit.

Who can nominate: Any member of the public, social service worker etc. The individual cannot nominate themselves.

The Indigenous Social Service Work Leadership Citation

This citation validates the exemplary practice of a member of the Ontario Social Service Worker Association which is engaged in advocacy, support or related efforts in Indigenous communities and social service work. Recipients must be actively working, engaged or volunteering in Indigenous communities and social service work. The recipient does not need to identify as apart of the Indigenous community, however this is a tremendous asset. Typically only one to two citations in this category are presented annually, during the annual award ceremony, held during social service worker week in March.

Eligibility requirements: The recipient of this award must possess a current (non-expired) general certificate of registration as a registered social service worker (RSSW) in good standing from the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). The candidate in addition, must be a practising member, active with the Ontario Social Service Worker Association. Recipients of this merit, which are not currently members of the Ontario Social Service Worker Association will be required to apply and be approved for practicing membership, prior to receiving the merit. Recipients of this merit must at all times hold a general certificate of registration as a registered social service worker (RSSW) in good standing from the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), including at the time of nomination, throughout the selection process, and still while receiving the merit.

Who can nominate: Any member of the public, social service worker etc. The individual cannot nominate themselves.

Black Social Service Work Leadership Citation

This citation validates the exemplary practice of a member of the Ontario Social Service Worker Association which is engaged in advocacy, support or related efforts in Black communities and social service work. Recipients must be actively working, engaged or volunteering in Black communities and social service work The recipient does not need to identify as apart of the Black community, however this is a tremendous asset. Typically only one to two citations in this category are presented annually, during the annual award ceremony, held during social service worker week in March.

Eligibility requirements: The recipient of this award must possess a current (non-expired) general certificate of registration as a registered social service worker (RSSW) in good standing from the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). The candidate in addition, must be a practising member, active with the Ontario Social Service Worker Association. Recipients of this merit, which are not currently members of the Ontario Social Service Worker Association will be required to apply and be approved for practicing membership, prior to receiving the merit. Recipients of this merit must at all times hold a general certificate of registration as a registered social service worker (RSSW) in good standing from the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), including at the time of nomination, throughout the selection process, and still while receiving the merit.

Who can nominate: Any member of the public, social service worker etc. The individual cannot nominate themselves.

Social Service Work Student of the Year Award

This award validates the exemplary learning of a student member of the Ontario Social Service Worker Association. Nominees must be currently undertaking their diploma in social service work (or equivalent) at an approved College of Applied Arts & Technology (or equivalent). Nominees may be undertaking full-time, part-time or distance studies. Nominees of all academic years and/or progress, in their respective programs will be considered. Typically only one award per academic social service work program at a college of applied arts & technology in this category are presented annually, during the annual award ceremony, held during social service worker week in March.

Eligibility requirements: The recipient of this award must be a student member, active with the Ontario Social Service Worker Association.

Who can nominate: Faculty or staff of Social Service Work diploma programs (or equivalent), or placement supervisors. The individual cannot nominate themselves and cannot nominate peer students.

Social Service Work Educator of the Year Award

This award validates the exemplary pedagogical approach of an educator, actively engaged in the provision of instruction, in a approved diploma in social service work program (or equivalent) at an approved College of Applied Arts & Technology (or equivalent). Nominees may be employed part-time, casual or full-time. Typically only one award per academic social service work program at a college of applied arts & technology in this category are presented annually, during the annual award ceremony, held during social service worker week in March.

Eligibility requirements: The recipient of this award must possess a current (non-expired) general certificate of registration as either a registered social worker (RSW) and/or a registered social service worker (RSSW) in good standing from the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). The recipient in addition, must be a faculty member of a College of Applied Arts & Technology (or equivalent) which holds an active membership as a college ambassador with the Ontario Social Service Worker Association. The educator themselves, does not need to be a member of the association. The educator must be actively engaged in educational services directly to students enrolled in diplomas of social service work at a college of applied arts & technology (or equivalent). The educator may hold any faculty status of employment (full-time, part-time, contract etc.)

Who can nominate: Faculty, staff or students of Social Service Work diploma programs (or equivalent). The individual cannot nominate themselves.