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Creating a National Vision and Building Capacity for the Role of Social Work in Primary Care

With funding from Team Primary Care, Professors Rachelle Ashcroft and Keith Adamson are leading a project that aims to strengthen the integration of social workers in primary care across Canada.

Social work has a philosophy and expertise that aligns with the aims of primary care. Social workers in primary care contribute to patient care by providing psychosocial assessment and intervention, offering psychotherapy and other counseling, doing case management, navigating complex health care systems, linking patients with community resources and other parts of the health care system, and educating and training other providers about the psychosocial aspects related to health and illness. There are variations, however, in the roles and the extent to which social workers have been integrated in primary care teams across Canada. This project will provide clarity to social workers on their roles and optimize their scopes of practice in patient care. It is important to establish a national vision and to further build the capacity of social workers in primary care. 

Working in partnership with the Canadian Association of Social Work, the aims of this project are to:


Project Team Members 

Rachelle Ashcroft

Rachelle Ashcroft, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto  

photo of Keith Adamson

Keith Adamson, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto 

Fred Phelps

Fred Phelps, Canadian Association of Social Workers

Glenda Webber

Glenda Webber, Canadian Association of Social Workers  

Louis-Francois Dallaire, Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux (CIUSSS) 

Deep Sur

Deepy Sur, Ontario Association of Social Workers

Connor Kemp

Connor Kemp, Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario  

Jennifer Rayner

Jennifer Rayner, Alliance for Healthier Communities 

Peter Sheffield

Team Primary Care Project Coordinator
Peter Sheffield, PhD student Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work

For more information about the Team Primary Care project, please contact:

Peter Sheffield:

Rachelle Ashcroft:


Logo for Team Primary Care: Training for Transformation