A Message from Dean Faye Mishna
Welcome to the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Today’s social workers face both daunting and exciting challenges that demand knowledge and skills spanning practice and policy. The Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work graduates M.S.W. and Ph.D. students who are ready to make a difference, not just in their communities, but in the world, and in our profession. I am honoured to be leading this internationally recognized faculty as its reputation grows and it distinguishes itself in emerging areas of social work research, education and practice.
The Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work is in a stronger position than ever before. Today we are among the top schools of social work in North America for research productivity. Our research influences government policies at both the provincial and federal level. We have strong partnerships with over 400 community agencies, including collaborative research projects with many of these organizations. Our graduates continue to make significant contributions to the communities where they live and to society as a whole.
The Faculty can claim several important “firsts” over the years, beginning in 1914 when we opened our doors as Canada’s first school of social work. More recently, we established the nation’s first Research Institute for Evidence-Based Social Work and the first formal Arts and Social Work Research Initiative.
When it comes to advances in the profession, we are committed to staying ahead of the curve. We are known not only for excellence in traditional scholarship and teaching, but also for innovation in research dissemination and international collaboration. New research initiatives are resulting in increasing recognition on national and international levels for our contributions to evidence-based social work practice and social welfare policies. Our commitment is to make social work research relevant and accessible so that our graduates—those who work both on the frontlines and in social service policy—can confidently and effectively help the vulnerable communities they serve.
We have an incredibly rich and diverse field education program, with over 400 social workers and other community professionals engaged as field instructors for our students. We continue to provide leadership for field education through developing and testing innovative models and strategies.
This continues to be a tremendously exciting time for social work at the University of Toronto. Over the past two years we have expanded our M.S.W. program by almost one-third, and because of the tremendous generosity of donors Lynn Factor and Sheldon Inwentash, we have been able to hire additional faculty members and have created 50 new student scholarships. As the final stage of our graduate growth, which has been made possible by an investment in graduate education by the Government of Ontario, we are expanding our specializations in the M.S.W. program. In addition to exceptional education that students can obtain in Children and their Families, Gerontology, Health and Mental Health, and Social Justice and Diversity, students entering in September 2010 will be able to select Social Service Administration as an area of specialization.
As we strive to move the Faculty forward, we are building on the solid foundation of an exceptional community of students, researchers, teaching faculty, field instructors and alumni. The depth and breadth of their intellects and talents – along with the diversity of their experiences and backgrounds – promise an even brighter future.