SAOSWA was launched in July 2003 (formerly known as the Forum for Occupational Social Workers -FOSWA) to promote and protect the interest of occupational social workers and their clients systems.

The objectives of the Association shall be:
  1. To set professional standards and guidelines for practising occupational social workers;
  2. To uphold and promote SAOSWA’s Code of Ethics for occupational social workers;
  3. To support and promote the development of SAOSWA’s members by means of acquiring and sharing the knowledge required to register as a specialist occupational social worker with the SACSSP;
  4. To network as an organisation and maintain on-going communication with other relevant bodies of civil society and government;
  5. To provide leadership in promoting the national and provincial growth and development of SAOSWA and its members in both private and public sector workplaces;
  6. To provide regular opportunities for occupational social work practitioners to network for purposes of support, advice and overall professional growth;
  7. To promote academic research in the occupational social work field;
  8. To market and promote awareness of the contribution of occupational social workers to all stakeholders;
  9. To provide support and on-going education for members who are frequently confronted with ethical dilemmas in a variety of work environments.