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Social Service Worker

Available as a two-year program (SSWP)

A Social Service Worker assists individuals who are experiencing social and personal challenges. Acknowledging the root causes may be societal in nature, resulting from the social determinants of health such as marginalization, oppression, stigma, colonization, and intergenerational trauma. Having acquired knowledge of human behaviour and development, the worker, through supportive counselling helps empower service recipients to make positive change that affects individuals, groups, and communities. The SSW uses helper skills to empower individuals in obtaining resources that may enable them to improve upon their existing strengths. Services may include financial aid, counselling and life skills supports. Practical is experience acquired through simulation, case studies, applied learning, field trips, skills practice, role play, and field placements. This allows the graduate to practice skills and methods of helping through case management, group, or community outreach. A Social Service Worker may specialize in a particular field such as health, welfare, family services, immigration, employment, children’s services, education, gerontology, community outreach, addictions, mental health, income supports, or correctional services.
  • Credential
    • Two-year Ontario College Diploma

  • Start Date

    September and January entry

  • Location
    • Belleville campus

Find your career

Social Service Workers work with adults, seniors, children, families and youth in need of support. Prepare for a variety of job opportunities:

  • Case workers.
  • Social service positions with municipal, provincial and federal governments.
  • Front-line workers in group homes, employment offices, corrections, residential treatment programs, community agencies, business and industry.
  • Social Service Worker is a registered professional title that may only be used by members in good standing of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

Our grads get great jobs

  • Program Facilitator, Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Family Support Worker, Children’s Aid Society
  • Residential Staff, Bayfield Treatment Centres
  • Coordinator for Social Service Programs, Community Care for Seniors
  • Social Services Caseworker and Employment Counsellor, Ontario Works

Is it for you?

Does this sound like you? Students who thrive in social service work are:

  • Passionate about helping others.
  • Seeking new challenges.
  • Able to draw strength from their own life experiences.
  • Interested in opportunities for personal growth.

Experiential learning

  • Incorporate theory and practice with extensive group work.
  • Develop essential skills in human relations, interpersonal communication, needs assessment and critical thinking.
  • Practise interviewing and counselling skills in a soundproof lab with a two-way mirror for observation and feedback.
  • As well as faculty instruction, the opportunity to learn from guest speakers working in probation and parole, crisis shelters, seniors' facilities, Ontario Works and other community agencies.
  • Rate your strengths and areas of greater focus with ongoing self-assessment.

Outstanding faculty make the difference

  • Learn with dedicated, caring faculty with front-line experience in a variety of human service settings.
  • Professors with backgrounds in child protection, prevention programming, addiction, corrections, social services and family counselling continue to work in their fields, bringing the most up-to-date industry knowledge and practices to the classroom.
  • Find the right job experience for your career path, working with our dedicated SSW placement coordinator.
  • Our program has a learner-centred approach. The staff values you, the student, first and foremost. We recognize and appreciate that you enter the program with many talents and abilities acquired from a variety of previous work and life experiences. We will work with you at building a learning community that is based upon trust, acceptance, and cooperation. We encourage you to help other students as this contributes to a positive learning environment and to your success in the program. You are encouraged to take responsibility for your learning and to become self-directed.

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