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Sunnybrook celebrates Social Work Week with help from FIFSW students 

Categories: , Cards featuring the text: We are navigators We are therapists We are leaders We are essential We are here for you We are social workers


Each year social work students completing their practicum at Sunnybrook Hospital are tasked with planning and coordinating events for Social Work Week. “It’s a great example of how students can collaborate,” says Master of Social Work student Kyle Williams, who currently works in the in-patient trauma unit, conducting psychosocial assessments, connecting people with resources and working with families to facilitate patient discharge.  

Photo of therapy dog with a masked practicum student in the background petting the dog

This year, Sunnybrook partnered with the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) to bring together social workers from Sunnybrook — and beyond — to connect, celebrate and de-stress at an event held March 8. OASW provided funding to support the festivities. Those who attended had the opportunity to enter a raffle for gift cards, participate in colouring activities, enjoy light snacks and interact with therapy dogs. “Everyone loved the dog therapy,” said Williams.  

Dr. Andy Smith , President and Chief Executive Officer of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

All week, from March 6-10, Sunnybrook staff and students collected donations for patients in need, including toiletries and gently used clothing. The students also conducted interviews with social workers to highlight differences within the profession and what inspired professionals to pursue a career in the field. The results of the interviews were shared on screens throughout the Hospital. Professor Charmaine Williams, Dean of the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work gave a presentation on the important role that social workers play in health care on March 9th.  

2023 – Social Work Week event attendees. Photographed at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in Toronto, On. March 8, 2023. (Photo by Kevin Van Paassen/Sunnybrook)

Kyle Williams credits fellow MSW student Naomi Wilkes as well as Sunnybrook’s Professional Leader for Social Work Lina Gagliardi and Educational Coordinator Illana Perlman for their guidance in planning the week’s events. 

“We are really appreciative of the experience and opportunities that Sunnybrook and FIFSW make available to social work students,” says Kyle. The advanced standing student has been offered a position at Sunnybrook after completing FIFSW’s Master of Social Work program this spring. “These opportunities are made possible due to the great relationship between the Hospital and the Faculty.”