Social Work


At North York General Hospital (NYGH) we believe total patient care must emphasize the physical, emotional and social needs of each patient and family. Approximately 50 social workers at North York General Hospital provide clinical services in all our major programs and across the continuum of health care (acute to chronic, inpatient to outpatient), and the continuum of life (newborn to end of life).

Social workers are members of interdisciplinary teams across our three sites (General, Branson Ambulatory Care Centre and Seniors' Health Centre) and serve children, adolescents, adults and families. They perform a wide range of functions at NYGH from psychosocial support, counseling, and instrumental material support, to management services, and academic research. The hospital is organized in a program management model and social workers are affiliated with specific patient programs where they provide specialized expertise in psychosocial interventions that are an essential component of the overall plan of care for patients.
The role of social workers at NYGH
  • Clinical services consisting of psychosocial assessments, counseling, advocacy, and links to hospital and community resources.
  • Participation in research and teaching initiatives within their programs and in partnership with academic institutions.
  • Clinical and academic education placements to Master of Social Work students from the University of Toronto (FIFSW) and other accredited Canadian and international schools of social work.
All social workers at NYGH are trained at the Master's level and/or Bachelor's level from an accredited university and are registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Every social worker is assigned to a hospital program and/or department.

The following is a general list of programs: Alternate Level of Care (ALC) Unit, Adult Eating Disorders, Palliative Care, Surgery, Child & Adolescent Outpatient Mental Health, Psychiatry Day Hospital, Medicine, Seniors' Health Centre, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient, Mental Health and Justice Treatment Support Service, Adult Mental Health Inpatient Psychiatry, Seniors' Health Centre Day Hospital and Memory Clinic, Diabetes Education Centre, Transitional-Aged Youth Substance Use Program, Child & Adolescent Eating Disorder Program, Maternal Newborn Program, Teletriageand Memory Clinic, Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT), Cancer Care, Emergency, Orthopedic Surgery and Pre-Op, Adult Psychiatry Inpatient, Geriatrics, Child and Adolescent Ambulatory Health, Child and Adolescent Ambulatory Health Service, Neuro Stroke, Complex Care Diabetes Centre, Telemetry & Cardiac Care, Critical Care Unit (CrCu), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Child Development & Counseling Unit, Geriatric Psychiatry, Family Medicine, Adult Addiction & Transitional-Aged Youth Substance Use Program

Regulatory body information

The social work profession in Ontario is regulated by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. This body provides regulation standards for practicing social work. The Ontario Association of Social Workers is the provincial professional association; the Canadian Association of Social Workers is the national professional association. These websites provide information on practice as well as courses and conferences offered:
Ontario College of Social Workers & Social Service Workers
Ontario Association of Social Workers
Canadian Association of Social Workers

Education program

North York General Hospital has a coveted interdisciplinary field education program that is highly sought after and accepts approximately 12 to 15 students per year. The social work team provides clinical and academic placements to social work students at the University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and other accredited universities.

Each year, the social work service offers a variety of placement opportunities, depending on the availability of instructors for that term. Students are matched according to their university's particular matching process, which typically involves the student being interviewed by the potential instructor/s.

We offer a range of placement models including: one student to one instructor for the entirety of the placement, one student to two instructors throughout the placement (usually within similar areas in the hospital), a rotational model whereby the student rotates through two or three instructors, in discrete blocks (usually in related areas in the hospital), or one rotation with one instructor within North York General, with the second rotation pre-arranged at another teaching hospital with another instructor (in an area that compliments the first rotation).
Seeking a placement

Field placements

North York General accepts MSW students only. Students are placed in both clinical and research settings. All requests for field placements must be processed through respective universities. Direct requests will not be processed.

Length of placement depends on the particular university that the student is attending. Typically MSW year two students from U/T FIFSW are in placement from September through April (Wednesday–Friday), and MSW year one students are in placement from January through May (Wednesday–Friday from January to April and Tuesday–Friday from April to May). The Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work sets the requirements for the minimum numbers of hours in practicum. MSW students are typically in placement from September–May; however we do occasionally have students in a block placement through the summer.

For further information please contact Laurie De Oliveira, Professional Practice Leader, Social Work.

Student expectations

  • Students are expected to work with children, adults and families around psychosocial, emotional, financial, familial, and academic issues related to physical, mental, and/or psychiatric concerns.

  • Students are expected to complete a learning contract in conjunction with their field instructor within the first month of placement.

  • All students will receive a minimum of one to one and a half hours of direct supervision/instruction on a weekly basis from their respective field instructors.

  • Students are expected to attend the series of seminars designed to complement their learning and to cover core areas related to practice.

  • Students must be prepared to work in a fast-paced environment with emotionally charged cases. Social work in a hospital setting can be extremely demanding, draining, and time-consuming (beyond the standard placement hours).

  • Students should be prepared to work clinically, within institutional structures, and with various government and community organizations.

  • Students are expected to learn the medical aspects of their program and collaborate on multidisciplinary teams.

  • Students must prepare to be flexible in dealing with unknown situations and sudden schedule changes. It is important that students build personal/professional boundaries and develop tools for personal self-care.

  • Students are expected to take advantage of the numerous learning and practice opportunities available throughout the hospital.

  • Students are assessed according to the process and tools specific to their learning institution. Social work students from U/T FIFSW are assessed using the online evaluation tool developed by the FIFSW, referred to as the practice-based evaluation tool (PBE). This process involves a midterm and final evaluation, completed independently by both instructor and student. The evaluation tool is available on the university's online practicum administration system (PAS), to which each student and filed instructor has access. The education practice leader/education coordinator is required to review and sign off on all evaluations.

  • At the conclusion of placement students are expected to participate in an evaluation of placement.

  • Students are also expected to complete any hospital-wide evaluations regarding placement.

Starting a placement

Placement prerequisites

The following prerequisites are required in order for a student to start a placement at North York General Hospital:

  • Mask fit testing
    You must have completed mask fit testing within the past 24 months. The following information will be requested upon registration:
    Date mask fitted
    Location mask fitted

  • Immunizations
    Your immunizations need to be up to date. This includes a TB test within the past 12 months. The hospital is not responsible for any expenses relating to immunization requirements. Students will not be allowed to start a placement without proper documentation. Seasonal influenza immunizations are highly recommended. Your rotation or placement may be affected if this is missing.

    If you are a student in a graduate program and have not provided your institution with documentation regarding immunizations, you must bring this with you on or prior to your first day of placement.

    You will be asked to confirm your immunization status as well as your TB test results during the registration process.
    Immunization form

  • Workplace insurance

    Institutional Workplace Insurance Agreement
    The students from publically funded Ontario colleges and universities are covered for workplace injuries through a program from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. If you are from one of these academic
    institutions you do not need to do anything else.

    Private workplace insurance
    This applies to the following:
    • Out of province students
    • Students from private institutions
    • Students in a practicum placement following completion of their academic studies

    Bring certificate of coverage on Day 1

    Not applicable
    • Observers
    • Students paid by NYGH

  • Vulnerable sector screen
    Vulnerable sector screen must be completed within the past 12 months for all students and must be submitted to your academic institution. If you have not provided the completed screen to your academic institution, you must bring it in on Day 1 of your placement.

    If your screen has positive findings, please notify us before your placement, as conditions of your placement will need to be reviewed.

  • Mandatory training
    All mandatory training modules must be completed prior to the first day of your rotation. You will be asked to verify that you have completed the online modules including date of completion

Prior to first day

  • Complete online registration form (Link will be emailed to you.)
  • Complete all online mandatory training
  • Review the Student Orientation package which will be emailed to you prior to arrival.
Online registration
All students must register for their placement through the Centre for Education. You will receive a link to our registration system upon approval of your placement.

Online mandatory training
The online mandatory training program is designed to provide you with knowledge of our programs, services and policies and to provide you with information required for your placement.

On the first day

Bring with you:
Registration documents
  • Mask fit record
  • Completed immunization form
  • Completed vulnerable sector screen
  • Workplace insurance – if applicable

Government issued photo ID — This is required in order for you to receive a hospital ID. The Badge Office is located at the General site on the east wing, ground floor besides shipping. Hours of operation are 10-10:30 a.m. and 1:30-2 p.m., Monday to Friday. If you are a student at the Branson Ambulatory Care Centre, you may want to receive your badge a couple of days earlier to not affect your placement time.

Payment for parking (if applicable) — Monthly costs of $60 (debit or credit card accepted). Daily rates are also available by contacting the parking office. Parking at the hospital is available in the Staff Parking Lot. Please park in Visitors Parking on your first day, once you pay for your monthly pass, your parking ticket for that day will be validated. The Parking Office is located at the parking

Centre for Education

Laurie De Oliveira,BA, MSW, RSW
Professional Practice Leader, Social Work
Tel: 416-756-6000 x6357

Ann Bickram
Education Coordinator, Nursing, Health Professions, Administrative & Operational
Centre for Education, 6 North–Room 630
North York General Hospital
4001 Leslie Street, 6N-632
Toronto ON M2K 1E1
Tel:416-756-6000 x4805

Red Button

Access the Red Button, a quick reference for students and residents at North York General Hospital who find themselves in an emergency or crisis situation of various kinds.