Social Service Worker

Ontario College Diploma (25 courses) Part-time On Campus
Program Code: 0432X02PWO Academic Year: 2016/2017


This program is listed under the following fields of study:

Other Delivery Options

Intensive On Campus
Full-time On Campus

Our Program

This two-year Ontario College Diploma program prepares students to work effectively with disadvantaged individuals, groups and communities. The program consists of four levels where learning occurs in both the classroom and practical settings. The curriculum includes courses in social work methods, social welfare systems, addictions, community development and the humanities. In order to gain exposure to working with a wide range of client groups, students are required to complete field placements in Levels 02, 03, and 04.

To qualify for this diploma, you must complete the program within eight years.

Success Factors

This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Have effective interpersonal skills.
  • Are committed to addressing social issues, such as poverty, homelessness, oppression and human rights.
  • Understand the importance of effective communication with clients and community partners.
  • Are team oriented and enjoy working with others.
  • Deal effectively with stressful situations.
  • Have resolved personal issues and challenges.

Your Career

Graduates may be employed as frontline workers in provincial, municipal and private social service agencies, including social service departments, long-term care facilities, addiction and mental health services, schools and programs for youth, community health centers, shelters and residential treatment programs.

Graduates support vulnerable people who are impacted by such issues as loss and separation, family crisis, poverty, violence, homelessness, addiction, disability, unemployment, gender identity, immigration, and culture.

Fees & Expenses

Fees for part-time programs are charged on a course-by-course basis and are published on each individual course page. For questions related to fees, please call the Registrar's Office at 613-727-0002.

Graduation Fee

Once you have completed all the courses in the program, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the Registrar's Office to obtain a certificate/diploma application. A graduation fee of $40 will be charged when the application is submitted. When your certificate/diploma application has been approved, you will be invited to Spring or Fall Convocation.

Admission Requirements

College Eligibility
  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, OR
  • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without an OSSD).
Program Eligibility
  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent) with a grade of 65% or higher.
  • Health Requirements

    Applicants must provide evidence of full and complete immunizations. The Algonquin College Health Services will review the student's record of immunization. All students must print and complete the ParaMed forms and attend a meeting with ParaMed, at the cost of the student. ParaMed provides authorization for entry into field placement. Some field placement agencies may require the Influenza vaccine.

    Police Records Check Documentation

    Successful completion of field placement is a requirement for graduation from the Social Service Worker program. Most agencies that provide placement opportunities require you to have a clear Police Records Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector (PRCSVS). If you do not have a clear PRCSVS you will need to meet with the Academic Manager responsible for the program. Your acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency. If you register in the program without a clear PRCSVS and as a result are unable to participate in placement, you will not be able to graduate.

    Students are required to complete a field placement within levels two, three and four to meet program requirements. A criminal record does not preclude placement, but agencies have the right to deny placement, and to be informed of the contents of the criminal record.

    Field Placement Eligibility

    To be eligible for placement, you must submit proof of a PRCSVS, which will be retained on your departmental file and used only for purposes related to your placement. You will be required to disclose the contents of the PRCSVS, including all notations, to the placement agencies.

    It is your responsibility to obtain the PRCSVS from your local Police Department prior to the deadline identified by your Department and to pay any associated costs. It may take anywhere from six weeks to three months to obtain this documentation; please submit your application as early as possible. Should you require further information, please contact the Program Coordinator.

College Eligibility
  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, OR
  • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without an OSSD).
Program Eligibility
  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent) with a grade of 65% or higher.
Health Requirements

Applicants must provide evidence of full and complete immunizations. The Algonquin College Health Services will review the student's record of immunization. All students must print and complete the ParaMed forms and attend a meeting with ParaMed, at the cost of the student. ParaMed provides authorization for entry into field placement. Some field placement agencies may require the Influenza vaccine.

Police Records Check Documentation

Successful completion of field placement is a requirement for graduation from the Social Service Worker program. Most agencies that provide placement opportunities require you to have a clear Police Records Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector (PRCSVS). If you do not have a clear PRCSVS you will need to meet with the Academic Manager responsible for the program. Your acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency. If you register in the program without a clear PRCSVS and as a result are unable to participate in placement, you will not be able to graduate.

Students are required to complete a field placement within levels two, three and four to meet program requirements. A criminal record does not preclude placement, but agencies have the right to deny placement, and to be informed of the contents of the criminal record.

Field Placement Eligibility

To be eligible for placement, you must submit proof of a PRCSVS, which will be retained on your departmental file and used only for purposes related to your placement. You will be required to disclose the contents of the PRCSVS, including all notations, to the placement agencies.

It is your responsibility to obtain the PRCSVS from your local Police Department prior to the deadline identified by your Department and to pay any associated costs. It may take anywhere from six weeks to three months to obtain this documentation; please submit your application as early as possible. Should you require further information, please contact the Program Coordinator.

Notes

Students in the Social Service Worker program are required to have access to a computer. Applicants are encouraged to have basic word processing, PowerPoint and Internet skills.

The social service worker field requires mature, flexible workers who commit to personal wellness and self-care as well as the principles of social justice and anti-oppression. This demanding program places students in learning environments and in contact with emotionally challenging themes. This may be unsettling to those who are in current recovery for mental health, abuse or addiction problems. As such, we encourage prospective students to reflect upon their readiness to meet these demands.

Note: Part-time students who have successfully completed level 01 and level 02 in part-time studies can apply to level 03 to finish the last year of the program in the full-time day program.

There is also a Full-time day program offered on the Woodroffe, Pembroke and Perth Campuses. While the learning outcomes at the Woodroffe, Pembroke and Perth Campuses are the same, the curriculum order and subject of delivery are reflective of the local circumstances which affect program delivery.

There is also an Intensive offering delivered at the Woodroffe Campus. This latter program is for individuals who have completed a university degree or diploma (from an Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology) in the humanities. University degrees outside of the humanities may be considered on an individual basis.

"Social Service Worker" is a registered professional title which may only be used by members in good standing of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). This relates to Ontario legislation entitled "The Social Work and Social Service Worker Act". Graduates of the Social Service Worker program are required by law to join the OCSWSSW after graduation in order to use this professional title. The OCSWSSW grants or denies membership. See ocswssw.org for more information.

CCOL Academic Planner

The Academic Planner provides registered part-time students in the Centre for Continuing and Online Learning (CCOL) the ability to declare into a program of study. The Academic Planner outlines successfully completed courses to date, as well as courses that need to be completed in order to meet graduation requirements. It is therefore, essential that all part-time students in CCOL declare to their program of study, allowing administrators to plan course offerings. The tool is available on ACSIS, located under 'Continuing Education' on the left-hand toolbar.

Additional Information

For more information, please contact Christine Gagné, Program Coordinator, at 613-727-4723 ext. 2435 or gagnec@algonquincollege.com.

Courses

Online:Online Learning   On campus: On Campus
Course
Number
HoursCourse NameSummer
Series: 01
ENL1813S45.0Communications IOnline Learning On Campus
FAM111430.0Preparation for FieldBlank Icon On Campus
FAM111530.0Social Service Work InterviewingBlank Icon On Campus
FAM113145.0AddictionsBlank Icon On Campus
FAM125445.0Social Welfare in Canada

FAM1254 Social Welfare in Canada

Social policies impact the development and delivery of services to consumer groups. Students study the historical progress of the social welfare system in Canada. In addition, the fundamentals of inequity, poverty, homelessness, violence, oppression, and discrimination are introduced in both historical and current social policies. Students examine their own values and practices to develop their knowledge and to critically analyze current social welfare policies and practices.

There are no classes currently scheduled for this course.

Blank Icon Blank Icon
FAM128245.0Social Service Worker Ethics

FAM1282 Social Service Worker Ethics

Establishing effective client service in the community for social service workers is essential when facing a bewildering array of ethical and practical challenges. Students examine key codes of ethics, ethical issues, dilemmas and decision-making processes when confronted with conflicting duties and choices within the context of professional social service work. Students gain necessary skills and knowledge required to practise within an ethical framework.

There are no classes currently scheduled for this course.

Blank Icon Blank Icon
PSY002945.0Developmental Psychology I

PSY0029 Developmental Psychology I

Success in ascertaining the needs of children and parents and our ability to work with them is intertwined with our knowledge of the pre-natal to adolescence development stages. Students investigate key developmental concepts, such as physical, cognitive and psychosocial aspects of the lifespan Students apply a variety of theories and psychological concepts to in-class activities, such as watching videos, reading, individual and group presentations, research and reflection to gain a greater appreciation of the value of developmental psychology.

There are no classes currently scheduled for this course.

Blank Icon Blank Icon
Series: 02
ENL1881F45.0Communication for Social Service Workers

ENL1881F Communication for Social Service Workers

Social service workers create and maintain a variety of records and documents related to their interactions with colleagues and clients. These records and documents must be coherent and objective assessments of the social service worker's observations, actions and interventions. Other methods of communication involve drafting letters and reports directed to other professional agencies and organizations. Documentation created by the social service worker may be required for and used in legal proceedings. Emphasis continues to be placed on fundamental grammar and writing mechanics. Students demonstrate critical-thinking skills and other communication attributes that are necessary in any professional workplace setting.

There are no classes currently scheduled for this course.

Blank Icon Blank Icon
FAM112330.0Placement Seminar IBlank Icon On Campus
FAM1129182.0Placement IBlank Icon On Campus
FAM126345.0Crisis Intervention

FAM1263 Crisis Intervention

One's ability to function in a professional manner in crisis situations is essential in the field of social service work. Students differentiate long-term counselling from crisis intervention and examine crisis related assessment techniques and intervention strategies to de-escalate and support those in crisis. Students explore the concept of professional burnout as it relates to crisis. Students practise Non-Violent Crisis Intervention techniques and qualify for an additional certification upon successful completion.

Pre-requisites: FAM1115

There are no classes currently scheduled for this course.

Blank Icon Blank Icon
PSY003145.0Developmental Psychology II

PSY0031 Developmental Psychology II

Consideration and application of developmental stages from adolescence to the time of our death is essential when supporting the needs of people throughout their lifespan. Students explore the key concepts associated with the study of development. Students apply and reflect on a variety of theories and developmental concepts and stages.

Pre-requisites: PSY0029

There are no classes currently scheduled for this course.

Blank Icon Blank Icon
FAM114245.0Legislation and Advocacy

FAM1142 Legislation and Advocacy

Social service work is, by nature, political. Most of the work done by social service workers is deeply influenced by the ideological, political and economic forces that comprise the welfare state. Students build critical awareness of these forces and of various political ideologies and critiques as they relate to social welfare and to the role of social service workers as agents of change.

Pre-requisites: FAM1254

There are no classes currently scheduled for this course.

Blank Icon Blank Icon
FAM112130.0Group WorkBlank Icon On Campus
Series: 03
FAM113330.0Placement Seminar IIBlank Icon On Campus
FAM113430.0Mental HealthBlank Icon On Campus
FAM1139252.0Placement IIBlank Icon On Campus
FAM127245.0Community DevelopmentBlank Icon On Campus
FAM128030.0Applied Social Service Work Practice

FAM1280 Applied Social Service Work Practice

Social service work practice is the foundation for meeting human needs in our society. Students apply core values, ethics and helping skills critical to social service work, combining philosophical bases for practice with experiential learning to develop helping skills. Students explore strength-based practice and principles of empowerment to establish relationships with clients including individuals, families, groups and communities. Students refine their skills and knowledge through interactive lectures and role-playing.

There are no classes currently scheduled for this course.

Blank Icon Blank Icon
FAM128330.0Working with Families

FAM1283 Working with Families

Understanding family systems is essential to providing optimum support to families. Students are grounded in family systems theory and explore patterns of interaction in terms of the wide range of problems that families and partners bring to social agencies. Emphasis is placed on how the family has changed over the generations and various intervention options. Students utilize genograms, timelines and eco maps to assess family functioning.

Pre-requisites: FAM1115 and PSY0031

There are no classes currently scheduled for this course.

Blank Icon Blank Icon
Series: 04
FAM114330.0Placement Seminar IIIBlank Icon On Campus
FAM1149273.0Placement IIIBlank Icon On Campus
FAM126030.0Assessment, Planning and Practice in Social Service WorkBlank Icon On Campus
FAM128145.0Globalization and Social Welfare

FAM1281 Globalization and Social Welfare

Globalization has radically altered the economic, social and environmental landscape in which human needs are met. Students examine global commodities such as food, water, oil and mining extraction as they influence global poverty and health conditions. Environmental, economic and social sustainability are guiding principles as students develop critical thinking skills through group discussions, research projects, interactive lectures and other activities.

There are no classes currently scheduled for this course.

Blank Icon Blank Icon
Choose one from equivalencies:
GED043245.0General Education ElectiveBlank Icon Blank Icon

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

ENL1813S Communications I

Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on meeting the requirements of effective communication. Students practice writing, speaking, reading, listening, locating and documenting information, and using technology to communicate professionally. Students develop and strengthen communication skills that contribute to success in both educational and workplace environments.

FAM1114 Preparation for Field

The ability to understand one's professional roles and responsibilities in the workplace is foundational to success. Students explore their own beliefs and values as they relate to professional relationships and ethical principles in social service work practice. Students identify current social issues, and research social networks that support meeting the diverse needs of the community.

FAM1115 Social Service Work Interviewing

Interviewing is complex, due in part, to the fact that it involves working across differences of class, race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, culture and health. Gathering information to assist people with their personal and social problems, while creating a safe, supportive environment, is foundational to social services. Students learn basic intervention skills through active listening, awareness of body language, utilization of open and closed questions and employing empathy to build trust. Students practise with role-play scenarios to develop and fine tune these skills in preparation for work with clients.

FAM1131 Addictions

The clients of social service workers frequently experience challenges in the area of addictions. Students gain basic knowledge regarding substance abuse and addiction recovery. Students explore their values and attitudes about the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol. Students gain insight, awareness and the understanding necessary to interact positively with addicted clients and their families.

FAM1254 Social Welfare in Canada

Social policies impact the development and delivery of services to consumer groups. Students study the historical progress of the social welfare system in Canada. In addition, the fundamentals of inequity, poverty, homelessness, violence, oppression, and discrimination are introduced in both historical and current social policies. Students examine their own values and practices to develop their knowledge and to critically analyze current social welfare policies and practices.

FAM1282 Social Service Worker Ethics

Establishing effective client service in the community for social service workers is essential when facing a bewildering array of ethical and practical challenges. Students examine key codes of ethics, ethical issues, dilemmas and decision-making processes when confronted with conflicting duties and choices within the context of professional social service work. Students gain necessary skills and knowledge required to practise within an ethical framework.

PSY0029 Developmental Psychology I

Success in ascertaining the needs of children and parents and our ability to work with them is intertwined with our knowledge of the pre-natal to adolescence development stages. Students investigate key developmental concepts, such as physical, cognitive and psychosocial aspects of the lifespan Students apply a variety of theories and psychological concepts to in-class activities, such as watching videos, reading, individual and group presentations, research and reflection to gain a greater appreciation of the value of developmental psychology.

ENL1881F Communication for Social Service Workers

Social service workers create and maintain a variety of records and documents related to their interactions with colleagues and clients. These records and documents must be coherent and objective assessments of the social service worker's observations, actions and interventions. Other methods of communication involve drafting letters and reports directed to other professional agencies and organizations. Documentation created by the social service worker may be required for and used in legal proceedings. Emphasis continues to be placed on fundamental grammar and writing mechanics. Students demonstrate critical-thinking skills and other communication attributes that are necessary in any professional workplace setting.

FAM1123 Placement Seminar I

Making the linkages between theory and practice is an essential part of becoming an effective social service worker. Students develop intervention strategies for implementation in their field placements. Students learn with and from each other's direct experiences as burgeoning professionals.

Pre-requisites: ENL1813S and FAM1114 and FAM1115 and FAM1131 and FAM1254 and FAM1282 and PSY0029

Co-requisites: FAM1129

FAM1129 Placement I

Professional learning experiences support the integration of theory and professional expectations in social service agencies. Students practise observation skills, information gathering, interviewing skills, documentation and preliminary assessment skills under the guidance of an onsite supervisor. Students identify the impact of social problems upon their clients and develop a network of community resources for referral purposes. Students work within a team environment and form trusting relationships with clients demonstrating warmth, sensitivity, empathy and appropriate boundaries.

Pre-requisites: ENL1813S and FAM1114 and FAM1115 and FAM1131 and FAM1254 and FAM1282 and PSY0029

Co-requisites: FAM1123

FAM1263 Crisis Intervention

One's ability to function in a professional manner in crisis situations is essential in the field of social service work. Students differentiate long-term counselling from crisis intervention and examine crisis related assessment techniques and intervention strategies to de-escalate and support those in crisis. Students explore the concept of professional burnout as it relates to crisis. Students practise Non-Violent Crisis Intervention techniques and qualify for an additional certification upon successful completion.

Pre-requisites: FAM1115

PSY0031 Developmental Psychology II

Consideration and application of developmental stages from adolescence to the time of our death is essential when supporting the needs of people throughout their lifespan. Students explore the key concepts associated with the study of development. Students apply and reflect on a variety of theories and developmental concepts and stages.

Pre-requisites: PSY0029

FAM1142 Legislation and Advocacy

Social service work is, by nature, political. Most of the work done by social service workers is deeply influenced by the ideological, political and economic forces that comprise the welfare state. Students build critical awareness of these forces and of various political ideologies and critiques as they relate to social welfare and to the role of social service workers as agents of change.

Pre-requisites: FAM1254

FAM1121 Group Work

Human beings spend much of their lives living and working in the context of groups. Group facilitation is an art and is an essential part of community support and intervention. Students are introduced to the practice of support group facilitation through planning, establishing the purpose of a support group and the facilitation of a specific topic to peers. Special emphasis is placed upon students acquiring the use of check in, leadership, co-leader harmony and evaluation.

Pre-requisites: FAM1115

FAM1133 Placement Seminar II

The integration of theory, field-related issues, and personal development is essential for students to formalize a basic understanding of how our community, clients and professionals work together to effect positive change. Students learn to identify and practise clinical, organizational and personal skills in a solution-focused manner.

Pre-requisites: ENL1881F and FAM1114 and FAM1123 and FAM1129 and FAM1263 and FAM1282

Co-requisites: FAM1139

FAM1134 Mental Health

Mental health includes both the inner experience and interpersonal group experience. Focus is on the well-being of individual clients and their families. Students are introduced to the complexities of psychopathology and various models of mental illness, along with classification systems and their limitations. The main objectives are to demystify mental illness and to provide strategies for working with this population. Exposure to current trends in service delivery, research and practice within a context of client empowerment and recovery are also explored. Societal attitudes, biases and barriers affecting the mentally ill are examined in relation to the role of social service workers.

Pre-requisites: PSY0031

FAM1139 Placement II

Students are given the opportunity to deepen and expand their knowledge, skills and practice with a more sustained and committed field placement. Students take on increasing levels of responsibility and independence and continue to hone their writing, reporting, interviewing, engaging, and assessment skills as social service professionals.

Pre-requisites: ENL1881F and FAM1114 and FAM1123 and FAM1129 and FAM1282 and PSY0031

Co-requisites: FAM1133

FAM1272 Community Development

Community development emphasizes the worth of self-help, mutual support, the building up of community integration by developing the capacity for problem-solving, self-representation and promotion of collective action to bring a community's preferences to the attention of political decision-makers. The theory and practice of community work are related to contemporary social action movements or local and national organizations. Students develop a basic understanding of community organization while undertaking a fundraising project.

FAM1280 Applied Social Service Work Practice

Social service work practice is the foundation for meeting human needs in our society. Students apply core values, ethics and helping skills critical to social service work, combining philosophical bases for practice with experiential learning to develop helping skills. Students explore strength-based practice and principles of empowerment to establish relationships with clients including individuals, families, groups and communities. Students refine their skills and knowledge through interactive lectures and role-playing.

FAM1283 Working with Families

Understanding family systems is essential to providing optimum support to families. Students are grounded in family systems theory and explore patterns of interaction in terms of the wide range of problems that families and partners bring to social agencies. Emphasis is placed on how the family has changed over the generations and various intervention options. Students utilize genograms, timelines and eco maps to assess family functioning.

Pre-requisites: FAM1115 and PSY0031

FAM1143 Placement Seminar III

Professional development of social service worker students continues with the extension of the learning opportunities that integrate theory and practice. Students build on their ability to identify and practise skills. By exploring ways to adapt clinical, organizational and personal skills in a solution-focused manner, students develop intervention strategies relevant to complex client situations. Students explore and solve ethical issues as they relate to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Social Service Workers.

Pre-requisites: FAM1133 and FAM1134 and FAM1139

Co-requisites: FAM1149 and FAM1260

FAM1149 Placement III

Students hone their skills by fully integrating theory and practice. Students also identify, practise, adapt and incorporate theory at a level that provides optimum client service. The focus is on the cumulative knowledge and professional skills for client engagement, intervention, team work and community development that reflects the students' readiness for frontline social service work.

Pre-requisites: FAM1133 and FAM1134 and FAM1139

Co-requisites: FAM1143 and FAM1260

FAM1260 Assessment, Planning and Practice in Social Service Work

Assessment and intervention are core skills for qualified social service workers and are fundamental learning requirements for practice in the field. Strong assessment skills are required to develop an accurate understanding of clients and their needs, to identify problems and to serve as a basis for evaluating the effectiveness of helping interventions. Students develop skills related to data collection, data interpretation, problem identification and intervention. Students learn to assess common issues experienced in the field, as well as develop comprehensive and effective intervention plans.

Pre-requisites: ENL1881F and FAM1114 and FAM1115 and FAM1121 and FAM1123 and FAM1129 and FAM1131 and FAM1254 and FAM1263 and FAM1282 and PSY0031

FAM1281 Globalization and Social Welfare

Globalization has radically altered the economic, social and environmental landscape in which human needs are met. Students examine global commodities such as food, water, oil and mining extraction as they influence global poverty and health conditions. Environmental, economic and social sustainability are guiding principles as students develop critical thinking skills through group discussions, research projects, interactive lectures and other activities.

GED0432 General Education Elective

Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following five theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Personal Development, Social and Cultural Understanding, and Science and Technology.

Equivalencies: ARC9001 or DSN2001 or ENV0002 or GED5300 or GEN1957 or GEN2000 or GEN2007 or HIS0001 or HIS2000 or HOS2228 or LIB1982 or MGT7330 or MVM8800 or RAD2001 or GED5002 or GED5004 or GED5005 or GED5006 or GED6022 or GED1896 or GED5009 or PSI0003