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Since its inception in 1966, the Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work (FSW) has developed and maintained a reputation for excellence.

In September 2006, the faculty opened its doors at the historic St. Jerome’s College/High School, in the heart of downtown Kitchener just four kilometres from the Waterloo campus. Home to our Master of Social Work (MSW) and PhD programs, the Laurier FSW's Kitchener location is a 40,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, housing seven classrooms (including a unique circular classroom for the MSW Indigenous Field of Study), a computer lab, a 2,000 square foot library, an interview-viewing room, a large conference/lecture hall, a community meeting space, a student lounge, and a spiritual room.

The FSW’s downtown Kitchener location places us in proximity to numerous community agencies, and we enjoy strong partnerships with the social services sector both in research and in field opportunities for students. The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program on Laurier's Brantford campus started in September 2014 and we hope to develop similarly strong partnerships with the social services sector, as well as with Six Nations of the Grand River.

The FSW is governed through a committee structure that includes representation from faculty, students, field instructors and alumni. We are committed to providing a friendly, respectful and inclusive learning environment. Whether you are a prospective or current student, field instructor, alumnus, or community partner, we hope you find information on the website helpful and we welcome your feedback.


  • We value our engagement with community, both local and global.
  • Diversity, inclusivity and the promotion of social and economic justice.
  • Developing the whole person; mind, spirit, emotions, and body.
  • Dynamic and lifelong learning that values experience and recognizes and respects different forms of knowledge.
  • Active citizenship that is devoted to the pursuit of social and economic justice.


Our vision provides a lens that we use to look at the world to understand what we do and what we aspire to be.

Our commitment is to social and economic justice. Recognizing that a full understanding of injustice is elusive, we are committed to intentionally pursuing critical reflective and self-reflective space. Through the fostering of such individual and institutional spaces, we aim to be better able to support a more just, inclusive and egalitarian society. Our teaching, research, scholarship, and actions support challenging structural sources of inequality, including conditions that infringe upon human and civil rights, and facilitating well-being in individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, locally and globally. We strive to have our Faculty of Social Work be known for its cutting-edge, community-based scholarship and academic rigour, and providing a challenging and nurturing learning environment to our students.

Mission Statement

The Faculty of Social Work is devoted to excellence in research, creative and critical thinking, and reflective practice. Our students learn through traditional and innovative teaching techniques and our Indigenous Field of Study challenges traditional pedagogy through Indigenous-based learning (e.g. Indigegogy). We challenge students to become active citizens of an increasingly complex and interconnected world. We fulfill our mission by advancing multi-disciplinary and marginalized forms of knowledge, including an Indigenous world-view, which is foundational to developing excellence in social work practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities. Skilled in the continuum of practice, our graduates are committed to challenging the oppressive conditions and structures that affect their clients. Our individual and collaborative scholarship is relevant to community and social needs, framed by our engagement in our own communities, and by our dedication to innovative and integrated practice education.

Guiding Principles

Our guiding principles are consistent with our vision and mission and will inform our decision-making as we embrace our future.

  • Responsible and transparent leadership and governance.
  • Local and international community engagement and collaboration.
  • Collegiality and respectful relationships.
  • Openness to change and renewal.
  • Recognizing the interconnections among research, theory and practice.
  • Realizing an appropriate balance among research, teaching, and service.
  • Learning and teaching that involves multiple forms of knowledge relevant to reflective and engaged social work practice that promotes social justice.


As a new program, the BSW program successfully applied to the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) for pre-accreditation in 2015, and then for the first accreditation in 2018.

The MSW program is accredited by CASWE; it has been fully accredited by CASWE in 1974, 1980, 1986, 1991, 1998, 2005, 2012, and 2019.

Donating to the Faculty of Social Work

FSW recognizes the generosity of community, alumni and corporate contributions that have helped establish our Kitchener location and which continue to support the development of our work. 

Our faculty and students engage in a wide variety of programs, outreach and research that build on strong connections to the community and develop innovative opportunities for collaboration. Financial contributions facilitate the development of, and enable us to continue to provide, unique learning and engagement opportunities for our students.

Providing financial assistance for students, through scholarships, bursaries or awards, is instrumental in helping students focus on their program and maximize their educational experience and success. Options are available to contribute to existing financial aid opportunities or to establish new ones, perhaps in honour of someone who has contributed significantly to the field of social work.