The School of Social Work promotes ethical social media use, offering guidelines in academic and field settings.


According to the Standards for Accreditation of the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) (2021:7)

SB/M 1.3.2

“The academic unit describes how it informs students, faculty members, field education personnel, sessional instructors, and professional and administrative staff of existing academic unit and university policies and procedures including but not limited to accessibility; assessment; appeals; codes of conduct; confidentiality; data storage; disability accommodation; equity; harassment; liability coverage; professional readiness and suitability; and use of social media.”

Statement of principles

The School of Social Work of the University of Ottawa adheres to the Code of Ethics of the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW), which defines the fundamental values of social work as follows: CASW Code of Ethics, Values and Guiding Principles 2024 | Canadian Association of Social Workers (

  • Respecting the Dignity and Worth of All People
  • Promoting Social Justice
  • Pursuing Truth and Reconciliation
  • Valuing Human Relationships
  • Preserving Integrity in Professional Practice
  • Maintaining Privacy and Confidentiality
  • Provinding Competent Professional Services

Through recognizing the growing importance of social media, the School of Social Work is committed to the ethical and responsible use of these communications tools in keeping with the above values. The School’s guidelines have been created for the purpose of shedding light on decisions made with respect to communications activities in the School, the classroom setting, as well as in practical field placements.  

Guidelines governing the use of social media

  • The Guidelines on Confidentiality of the School of Social Work must be observed in the use of social media.   Given the public forum associated therewith, no confidential information should be divulged that relates to the School, field placements sites, or people receiving services.
  • The same advisory concerning public access to social media applies to the private lives of both School staff and students, and people met during field placements with outside organizations offering practical experience.
  • It is essential that students acquaint themselves with and respect the rules that define the use of social media as determined by the organizations in which their field placement is taking place.
  • The School of Social Work suggests that all students and staff members familiarize themselves with policies regarding the use of social media, including the scope of confidentiality applied to every social interaction platform used in the Internet.
  • Social media are constantly evolving.  It is therefore essential to keep up to date with technological progress and strive to ensure the ethical and responsible use of these tools in the contexts of practice, teaching and research.


Canadian Association of Social Workers (2014).  Social Media Use and Social Work Practice.

Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (2011).  Social Media and Practice: Protecting Privacy and Professionalism in a Virtual World.

Approved by the Committee of Undergraduate Studies of the School of Social Work, November 29, 2016.

Approved by the Committee on Graduate Studies of the School of Social Work, January 13, 2017.

Adopted by the Assembly of the School of Social Work, January 17, 2017.

Revised on January 19, 2024 – New Standards of CASWE