Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 1: Child Welfare (1-5)

Université du Québec à Montréal School of Social Work

June 5, 2024

The academic mission of UQAM’s School of Social Work is to train qualified social workers capable of interacting ethically and rigorously in complex situations. During their studies, students develop the knowledge and professional skills needed to help individuals, families, groups and communities understand their problems and find solutions. Our graduates work in public, parapublic, private and community organizations.

The School of Social Work assumes a committed presence at UQAM through its teaching, research and links with the community. As such, it contributes to debates on contemporary issues and helps build a more egalitarian, democratic and supportive society.

The bachelor’s and master’s programs at UQAM’s School of Social Work are accredited by the Canadian Association of Social Work Education (CASWE) and lead to a diploma that gives access to the Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et des thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec (OTSTCFQ).

School of Social Work Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation 

The School of Social Work does not make any explicit commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

The School of Social Work explains that it is in the process of revising its mission statement, which it intends to update.

TRC Call to Action # 1

We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to commit to reducing the number of Aboriginal children in care by: 

  1. Monitoring and assessing neglect investigations
  2. Providing adequate resources to enable Aboriginal communities and child-welfare organizations to keep Aboriginal families together where it is safe to do so, and to keep children in culturally appropriate environments, regardless of where they reside.
  3. Ensuring that social workers and others who conduct child-welfare investigations are properly educated and trained about the history and impacts of residential schools.
  4. Ensuring that social workers and others who conduct child-welfare investigations are properly educated and trained about the potential for Aboriginal communities and families to provide more appropriate solutions to family healing.
  5. Requiring that all child-welfare decision makers consider the impact of the residential school experience on children and their caregivers.

Mandatory Course: Limited. 

Only mention is within a course on diversity and immigration

TRS1350 – Social intervention and intercultural relations

A deeper understanding of current social phenomena related to diversity in the broadest sense (ethnic, cultural, religious, linguistic, etc.) and specifically to the issue of immigration in local social life in Montreal, Quebec and Canada. Identification and analysis of related issues. Issues for the host society, for immigrants and for social professionals (training, information, adaptation of interventions, professional identity, etc.). Specific knowledge of intervention in an intercultural context. Presentation and analysis of intervention models (individual, family, group, collective action) with immigrant, refugee and Indigenous populations.

NB: As of September 2024, the School of Social Work indicates that it will replace this course with a mandatory course on racism in Canada and Quebec, as well as anti-racist practices in social work. This course will explore the issues and inequalities experienced by Aboriginal people, ethnic minorities, racialized people and immigrant groups.

Optional course:

TRS 320A Aboriginal Perspectives in Social Work

The objective of this course is to develop a better understanding of social work from Aboriginal perspectives. Through experiential exercises, sharing circles, reflections, life stories and other teaching methods, students will be invited to critically examine prejudices and cultural biases concerning Aboriginal realities and to develop a savoir-être composed of reflexive and decolonial practices. Themes such as the impact of colonization, intergenerational trauma, resilience and resistance, social and cultural identity, the main laws and social policies concerning Aboriginals, Aboriginal governance and self-determination of social services will be addressed. Finally, the student will contribute to greater cultural safety in social work, and develop approaches based on the exchange and sharing of knowledge with Aboriginal organizations and communities.

Commitment to Call to Action #1: 0 out of 3 = 0%

3History and impact of residential schools (theory)
 No. Not explicitly addressed.
4Potential for Aboriginal communities and families to provide more appropriate solutions to family healing (practice)
 No. Not explicitly addressed.
5All child welfare decision makers consider the impact of the residential school experience on children and their caregivers
 No. Not explicitly addressed.

Compliance with CASWE/ACFTS Statement of Complicity and Commitment to Change

At the May 27th, 2017 Board meeting, the Board of Directors of CASWE-ACFTS committed to ensuring that social work education in Canada contributes to transforming Canada’s colonial reality and approved a “Statement of Complicity and Commitment to Change”. “This is an important step in engaging social work education in the reconciliation process and supporting the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action” affirms CASWE-ACFTS President, Dr. Susan Cadel.
Of the 12 actions articulated in the “Statement of Complicity and Commitment to Change, the following two are directed at Schools of Social Work
7Will encourage institutional members to post a territorial acknowledgement on their School’s website and post a link to the CAUT guide to territorial acknowledgement on the CASWE-ACFTS website to assist Schools with this task
 None posted on the School of Social Work websiteThe School of Social Work indicates that it will publish a land acknowledgement at the same time as its mission statement.
8Will encourage and support Canadian schools of social work in revising mission statements, governance processes, curriculum, and pedagogy in ways that both advance the TRC recommendations and the overall indigenization of social work education
 Work in progress; update to come
All content has been submitted to the respective faculty for validation to ensure accuracy and currency as of the time of posting. The Université du Québec à Montréal School of Social Work responded to our submission.

Managing Editor: Douglas Sinclair: Publisher, Indigenous Watchdog
Lead Researcher, Julia Dubé