(Updated December 2, 2020)
Important building notice:
In light of the rapidly changing COVID developments, the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work building at 246 Bloor Street West is closed to the public until further notice. Deliveries cannot be received without advance notice. Mail to FIFSW should only come through Canada Post. (No couriered packages, please.)
> A message from U of T President Meric Gertler to all members of the U of T community: Looking to January 2021
Start date for winter term classes at FIFSW: January 4, 2021
Dear FIFSW students, faculty and staff,
We are writing to follow up on the email that was sent to the University of Toronto community today by U of T President Meric Gertler.
We would like to reiterate the President’s message which acknowledges the extraordinary stress that everyone has been under due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. During this time of hardship, you have shown flexibility, resilience, and stamina. You have come together to advocate for your needs, to create and participate in new ways of connecting, and to develop new initiatives to provide each other with support. We would like to thank all of you for the contributions that you have made to the FIFSW community. As President Gertler wrote in his letter, “the spirit of dedication and collaboration that has brought us this far will continue to carry us forward.”
On the issue of the holiday break, the president’s message indicates that the start date for winter term classes will vary for graduate and professional programs. Here at FIFSW, we have made the decision to start classes as planned on Monday, January 4 so as to alleviate disruption to your semester and to help ensure the timely completion of your courses, particularly for those of you graduating this year. With fall classes ending earlier this year, during the week of Novermber 30 – December 4, we are hopeful that you will have sufficient time to fully rest and recharge.
As always, should you have feedback or ideas on other ways we can support your health and wellness, or concerns that you would like to share as we move forward to a new semester, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Dean & Professor
Associate Dean, Academic & professor
Update on the winter 2021 semester
We would like to thank everyone for their flexibility as we all adapt to and embrace a new remote learning environment. Please note that FIFSW classes in the winter semester will be online.
We remain as committed as ever to ensuring that students receive a high-quality education and are well prepared to enter the social work field. Our faculty continue to build their strengths to support all students in an online environment.
What will this mean for winter practicums? At present, many of our practicums are virtual, and we expect that this will continue in the new year. FIFSW and its practicum partners are required to follow university directives, directives at their organizations and public health guidelines. Whether all practicums become virtual will be determined by changes to these directives.
NEW: Introducing Navi
U of T has launched a Student Mental Health Virtual Agent to help students navigate mental health supports at the University of Toronto. Navi (short for navigator) is an anonymous wayfinding tool that is available 24/7. It can currently speak to 48 broad topics related to mental health including: stress, anxiety, loneliness, harassment, discrimination, bullying, academics, career, sleep issues, accessibility, coping techniques, abuse, eating disorders, how to get involved, health care access, and more. Click here to learn more.
Student community meetings
FIFSW has been holding monthly Student Community Meetings to provide students with updates and answer any questions students may have.
Questions and answers from previous meetings can be found on our FIFSW Frequently asked questions page.
Impact on Social Work Practicums
- Division of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Research FAQ
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council: Update on COVID-19 and impact on policies, programs, and operations
U of T’s FAQs
- Government of Canada Travel Advice (COVID-19)
- Ontario Ministry of Health
- Toronto Public Health
- Peel Public Health
- Public Health Ontario
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- World Health Organization
- CAMH: Mental health and COVID-19
Members of the FIFSW community who have questions, are encouraged to contact appropriate faculty member below:
Master of Social Work:
David Burnes, Associate Dean, Academic, and Associate Professor
Eileen McKee, Assistant Dean, Field Education
Lin Fang, PhD Program Director, and Associate Professor
David J. Brennan, Associate Dean, Research, and Professor