Profession

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).