About IFSW North America
IFSW has 5 regional structures. The North American Region comprises the United States of America, represented by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and Canada, represented by the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW).
CASW and NASW-USA have worked together cooperatively over many years in an effort to strengthen the profession in the region The framework of the collaboration continues to operate under the most recent Memorandum of Understanding signed on July 11, 2012, at the IFSW Conference in Sweden.
Both organizations have a dual mission of protecting the profession of social work and seeking to ensure social justice. The political climate in both countries has posed challenges to the understanding and support of the social safety net, which social workers are mainly responsible for maintaining. As a result, CASW and NASW-USA have been working on communication campaigns including publications, social media efforts, and outreach aimed at helping the public and decision makers to understand the profession and ultimately strengthening and securing its future. Both organizations have been engaged in addressing the de-professionalization of social work and also recognize the importance of research on evidence-based and best practices and are actively engaged in collaborating and disseminating such research. CASW and NASW-USA have also spent a great deal of time addressing recruitment and retention issues for the profession.
CASW and NASW-USA continually monitor and address issues of regulation, including licensure and the ongoing evolution of their respective Code of Ethics. They are also working with the social work education organizations in support of comprehensive and relevant education programs.
The IFSW North American region has been actively engaged in addressing some of society’s most pressing problems such as the economic recession, the increasing challenges related to poverty, and the unemployment crisis. Professional social workers in both countries have not only been tasked with caring for more and more clients, but are asked to do so with fewer resources and support. CASW and NASW-USA have both maintained active advocacy and political action outreach components to addresses these issues.