The University of Manitoba Social Work Program is currently the only program in Manitoba that is recognized and accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE), for meeting the essential requirements of academic excellence by providing various academic options at the Baccalaureate and Master levels through its BSW, MSW, PhD and Distance programs.
CASWE states that “The mission of social work education, at Baccalaureate and Master levels, is to promote excellence in social work education, scholarship, and practice with a human rights and responsibility and social justice focus…”
CASWE defines the accreditation of Social Work Education Programs based on the following principle guidelines:
• To facilitate well-being and participation of people, promote social and economic justice, address structural sources of inequities, and eliminate conditions that infringe human and civil rights. Grounded in reflective practice and engaged in persistent inquiry into theoretical and research bases in the field, social work employs professional approaches and interventions to enhance individual, family, group, community, and population well-being.
• Links together the interdisciplinary theoretical knowledge base of social work and professional practice.
• Core learning objectives linking student learning objectives to the promotion of excellence in social work education, scholarship, and practice with a social justice focus and guide both curriculum design and the delivery of field education.
• The integration of knowledge, values and skills in the context of field education is a critical and distinctive aspect of social work education; therefore, field education is considered the central component of social work education.
• Flexibility to deliver programs that highlight their uniqueness and respond to particular socio-cultural and political-economic contexts.
• All social work program locations and formats, e.g., on-campus, decentralized, intensive, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-driven approaches, are encompassed by the standards.
• Encompasses a range of theoretical perspectives and encourages critical thinking, discussion and debate.
• Encourages and supports diversity and social justice in all aspects/domains of social work programs.
• Acknowledges the importance and complexity of Canadian society, including the dynamics affecting Anglophone, Francophone, Indigenous peoples, and new-comer populations.
• Acknowledges and challenges the injustices of Canada's colonial history and continuing colonization efforts as they relate to the role of social work education in Canada and the self-determination of the Indigenous peoples.
• Francophone people are specifically highlighted as constituents of Canadian history and identity and social work education programs ensure representation of related concerns and issues.
• Stakeholders/constituents include but are not limited to: social work students, social work educators, alumni, employers, practitioners, professional associations, regulators, service users and community members.
• Identifies a clear distinction between the intended learning objectives for students of Baccalaureate level (BSW) and Master level (MSW) university education.