A social worker is a licensed professional who has clinical training as a significant component of their degree, and who engages in ongoing professional development and is accountable to a regulatory college, i.e. the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
Social workers are trained to espouse values of client self-determination, diversity and social justice. Social workers are keenly aware of power structures in society, and how systems in society impact on individuals.
In addition to functioning as therapists, social workers have training and expertise in advocacy and case management (understanding and being able to connect with other resources) and can be, as a result, in a better position to provide more comprehensive services to clients.
Social work services are also often more reasonably priced than the services of other health care providers, and many health benefit/insurance plans cover social work services as well.