The Value of Social Work Campaign Champions Program
Social Worker Champion: Wayne Cormier
Addressing the injustices to the poor and marginalized
Wayne Cormier recalls working with a 14-year-old boy who had been “written off” by most of society. He worked with that teenager to help send him down a different path, and after 12 months, that person went on to complete high school. Eventually, he went on to obtain his welding certificate, got married, had two children and has been a contributing member of society ever since.
“Social work is rewarding work,” said Cormier. “You are helping people to achieve the best that they can. It’s tiresome work and often it is not recognized by the general public. It is not always valued for what it is worth, but it reflects what (former American President) JFK said, ‘you measure the health of our society by how we treat those who need a hand up.’”
Cormier has been the Executive Director of Swift Current and District Early Childhood Intervention Program (SC ECIP) for the last seven years. He is responsible for implementing provincial policy and procedures, program integrity and service delivery.
He began his career while working as a care aide at Valley View Centre in Moose Jaw. He received counselling to further his education in order to sustain his employment within Social Services so he applied for social work at university. Cormier was interested in the profession because he wanted to help address the injustices to the poor and marginalized.
Over the years he has served in numerous positions including a Mentor at a group home in Moose Jaw and House Supervisor for persons with disabilities; a Social Services Income Assistance Worker; Child Protection Worker; Moose Jaw Housing Coordinator; Field Worker for Community Living Division, Ministry of Social Services; and Manager, Income Assistance, Child Protection, Family Services, Career and Employment Services, Ministry of Social Services.
Cormier said that he enjoys social work because each and every day he has the opportunity to make a positive difference in someone’s life. “Social workers keep at the forefront of our societal dialogue,” he said. “As a community, we need to make a priority for those who are less fortunate and marginalized. They need a hand up, not a hand out. And by doing this, we focus on strength-based practices.”
He added that social work is even more important during these times. As more extremist views are voiced, social workers are there to ensure that the needs of the poor and marginalized are not forgotten.