The Internationally Educated Social Work Professionals Bridging Program
reflects the true needs of Canada's diverse society
TORONTO, March 4 /CNW/ - Three members of Ryerson University's G. Raymond
Chang School of Continuing Education are being recognized by the Ontario
Association of Social Workers (OASW) as leaders in the social work community.
As catalysts for The Chang School's Internationally Educated Social Work
Professionals (IESW) Bridging Program, Patricia O'Connor, Helen Wong, and June
Ying Yee have developed the only bridging program in Canada that provides
comprehensive training, mentorship, support, and work placements for qualified
social work professionals who were educated outside of Canada.
"The IESW program is helping to reduce the barriers that have in the past
restricted access to the Canadian job market," says Joan MacKenzie Davies,
Executive Director of the OASW. "Foreign-trained social workers have a wealth
of knowledge and skills, and the program has played a key role in preparing
internationally educated social workers for employment here in Canada."
The recognition is given each year during National Social Work Week
(March 3-9) to an individual, or group of individuals, who have made a
significant contribution to the social work community. This year's recipients
reflect the theme of National Social Work Week, "Social Workers Advocating for
Human Rights in a Diverse Community."
"The fundamental principles of social work, such as empathy, non
judgment, empowerment, and community mobilization are the same around the
world," says Helen Wong, IESW Project Director. "In a city such as Toronto,
where close to 50 percent of the population was born outside of Canada, it is
important that internationally educated social workers have the opportunity to
be working in the profession as quickly as possible. Their experience and
perspectives are needed in the social work profession in Canada. We help
employers recognize this."
The IESW program was developed with community partners such as Access
Alliance Multicultural Community Health Centre, and since the program began
two years ago, 92 percent of graduates have found employment in the social
service sector. The IESW Bridging Program hopes to expand its courses and
services to reach IESWs across Ontario and to individuals prior to arrival in
The Chang School is a leader in providing bridging programs for
internationally educated professionals. Through funding provided by the
Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada,
IESW is one of several programs offered by the school that help new
Canadians build on their prior education and experience from their country of
origin so they meet the requirements to practise their professions in Canada.
Other programs include accounting, dietetics, finance, midwifery, nursing, and
"This IESW recognition validates the tremendous impact that
internationally educated professionals have in the Canadian workplace," says
Anita Shilton, Dean of The Chang School. "Our bridging programs create
quality-assured and transparent processes that help these highly skilled
professionals get into the workforce quickly and at a level that is consistent
with their previous experience."
Media are welcome to attend the celebration event:
WHEN: Thursday, March 6, 2008, 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
WHERE: The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education,
Ryerson University, Peter Bronfman Learning Centre, 7th floor,
Heaslip House, 297 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON
To RSVP or for more information contact BlueSky Communications -
Sarah Hall, 416.929.7740, email@example.com, or Julie O'Brien,
Ryerson University's The G. Raymond Chang School (www.ryerson.ca/ce) is
at the forefront of developing bridging programs to help new Canadians enter
the labour market more efficiently so they can contribute to Ontario's growth
most effectively. With more than 64,000 registrations annually, The Chang
School is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education.
For further information:
For further information: BlueSky Communications - Sarah Hall, (416) 929-
7740, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Julie O'Brien, (416) 929-8253,