The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships, and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being and prevent dysfunction. Utilizing theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work.
Social workers are employed in child welfare and family service settings, health organizations, mental health clinics, business and industry, schools, correctional systems, welfare administration agencies, community organizations, and in private practice. Client populations served by social workers include children and youth at risk, people with disabilities, low-income people, those with chemical dependencies, the homeless, offenders, the elderly, employees, neighbourhoods, and families. Social work roles range from direct practice to community development to policy-making. Since 1995, the Social Workers Act has required that a person using the title “social worker” be registered with the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers (SASW). Registration indicates that social workers have met the professional standards to practice social work. As the regulatory body, SASW carries a central responsibility for the protection of the public: it establishes, maintains, and develops standards of ethical practice, and supports development of skills and competency among its members.
Since 1973 social work education and training in Saskatchewan has been offered by the Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina. Both undergraduate and graduate studies programs are available through the faculty. Social work classes are available in Regina and Saskatoon as well as in other urban, rural, and northern communities using face to face, audio, video, and internet teaching methodologies. The Faculty of Social Work also works with a wide variety of government and community agencies to help social work students obtain practical experience to integrate with their academic training. Also, unique in Canada is the School of Indian Social Work of the First Nations University of Canada, the aim of which is to develop social work knowledge and skills based on the culture, values, and philosophy of First Nations.