March is Social Work Month, March 6th started Social Work Week, and March 21st is World Social Work Day!

Did you know that there are many social workers working at the Ranch in a wide variety of roles?

At the Ranch, there are registered social workers who are caseworkers, program managers, directors, counsellors, clinical consultants, quality assurance professionals, executives, and more. 

The theme for this year’s Social Work Month is “social work breaks barriers.” These barriers could include economic, social, political, systemic, mental, or physical. Social workers help individuals and families by counselling and advocating for change.

Kristie Panchuk, registered clinical social worker with Ehrlo Counselling Services, said, “We work from a ‘person in environment perspective.’ It’s a holistic approach where we look at an individual as a whole and the larger community. We always want to work in the best interests of the people we’re serving and approach them with dignity and respect.”

She explained that a huge part of social work is advocating for changes in the environment and the greater social systems that will have positive influences on the community, family, and the individual.

“If social workers can help influence environments and greater systemic structures - that will have an impact on individual mental health and that trickledown effect serves to preserve dignity. It’s important to understand and educate people on the greater systemic barriers that can be at play in terms of your wellness and your ability to be well,” she said.

Ryan Labatt, registered social worker and director of quality improvement at Ranch Ehrlo, said, “Social work is a regulated profession. Social workers must be registered with the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers. There are many people in the human services field, but they aren’t all social workers.”

On March 20th, the Government of Saskatchewan declared March 20th to the 25th as Saskatchewan Social Work Week.