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Photo of Sara Warren.
Sara Warren. Photo from Girl Guides of Canada

Changing Lives for 100 Years

U of T's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work celebrates its centennial

When the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work was founded a century ago as the Department of Social Service, it was the first academic program in Canada – and among only a handful in North America – to educate professional social workers.

At the time, a group of civic-minded women had approached U of T about creating a school to train social workers. The university agreed there was a need, but didn’t have the funds. One of the women, Sara Warren, a well-known philanthropist, agreed to pay the bills for the first three years, and the school opened its doors in September 1914. Today, the faculty is recognized as a research leader.

Celebrations for the faculty’s centennial kicked off in late October with a reception at the Royal Ontario Museum, which is hosting an exhibit called “Classroom to Community: A Century of Social Work in Toronto.” A commemorative book outlining the faculty’s history is available, and Margaret Norrie McCain (BSW 1955) was a featured speaker at an event in November. Celebrations continue until June 2015. Visit for more information.

Watch the history of the Faculty of Social Work in pictures:

Video by James Poremba

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