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Three lauded for bridging foreign trained social workers.

"In a city such as Toronto, where close to 50 percent of the population was born outside of Canada, it is important that internationally educated social workers have the opportunity to be working in the profession as quickly as possible," says Helen Wong, Director of the Internationally Educated Social Workers Bridging Program of Ryerson University.

Wong and two of her colleagues, Patricia O'Connor and June Ying Yeem, have been recognized as "leaders in the social work community" by the Ontario Association of Social Workers for their work in the program.

The three have developed the only bridging program in Canada that provides comprehensive training, mentorship, support, and work placements for qualified social work professionals who were educated outside of Canada.

The program was developed with the OASW and community partners such as Access Alliance Multicultural Community Health Centre.

Since the program began in 2006, 92 percent of graduates have found employment in the social service sector. Future plans call for the IESW Bridging Program to expand its courses and services to reach foreign trained social workers across Ontario, and to individuals prior to arrival in Canada.

"The IESW program is helping to reduce the barriers that have in the past restricted access to the Canadian job market," says Joan MacKenzie Davies, Executive Director of the OASW.

www.ryerson.ca/ce
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Title Annotation:GENERAL
Publication:Community Action
Date:Mar 20, 2008
Words:220
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