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Meet the new Professional Practice Lead for Social Work, Jill Fraser!


Jill Fraser and Family
Professional Practice Lead for Social Work, Jill Fraser and her family

Jill was born and raised in Fort St. John, where she started working as a community social worker in 2008. Back then, there were very few social work positions available, but Jill accepted this challenging role and has never looked back. 

From 2008 to 2016, Jill was a consistent presence in the Social Work discipline in her region, helping people in the community, hospitals, and care homes, and sometimes travelling to Fort Nelson or Hudson's Hope to deliver services when needed. Because of her efforts, more people started to understand the role of social work in the region. She worked alone for years, but when the team-based primary care model of patient care started, more social work roles came along.

In 2018, Jill stepped into a leadership position providing clinical guidance to all social workers in the Northeast, which at that time had the highest vacancy rate for social work positions at Northern Health. With help from her leadership allies, Jill talked to colleagues in other health authorities and created the role of Social Work Assistant, the first of its kind at Northern Health. Once created, recruitment was easier, and positions filled quickly. In fact, Northern Health now has Social Work Assistant roles in its other regions as well.

Always eager to support social work, Jill has been a key advocate in the effort to standardize training for social workers using a regional approach at Northern Health over the last few months. Jill also played a vital role in making the first Regional Social Work Orientation Week a success by co-facilitating and mentoring. She continues to offer advice to ensure the standardization is effective across Northern Health. From starting out as solo social worker, to reshaping the field of Social Work in the North, Jill continues to trail-blaze in her roles.

The Professional Practice Lead role for social work and disciplines allied to social work is new to Northern Health and to Jill. With the constant changes within health, it's exciting to see what our leaders in social work are doing. And with leaders like Jill who keep innovating and rewriting the rules, it's definitely a space to keep your eye on!