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Social Service Worker (Two-Year Diploma)

Ontario College Diploma

Ontario College Diploma

Program Description

The Social Service Worker program combines academic study with practical experience to provide graduates with the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to work in the diverse and complex field of community and social services. The program focuses on the development of front-line interviewing and counselling skills that will prepare students to work with individuals and groups in a variety of social service settings, including group homes, women's shelters, addiction and mental health facilities, employment programs and services for seniors.

In addition to theoretical models, methods and skills of social service work practice, you will receive extensive training in: community organizing and development, crisis intervention, group work, and life skills methodology.

As a graduate of the Social Service Worker program, you will be eligible to register as a social service worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. www.ocswssw.org

Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) including Grade 12 English (C or U) OR
  • Grade 12 equivalency certificate achieved through College academic upgrading OR
  • Mature Student Status (19 years of age or older) with Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Three additional senior-level credits
  • Equivalent secondary school diploma from another province or territory in Canada (Please note: A recognized equivalent to an OSSD may be accepted if you meet the levels, subjects and overall averages required for admission to the college. Generally the requirement is successful completion of a Grade 12 diploma except in Quebec where the equivalent is Secondary V) or
  • Equivalent secondary school diploma from outside of Canada. Applicants who have been educated outside of Canada must have their documents evaluated by a credential assessment service (ICAS) and submit proof of educational qualifications in order to determine if their level of achievement is equivalent to an OSSD. To obtain a Credential Assessment Report visit either ICAS (1.800.321.6021) or WES (1.866.343.0070)
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office recommended
  • Clear Criminal Reference Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening. Without this, you may not be accepted for field placement by a field placement agency and may be unable to complete the requirements of the program.
  • You must maintain an overall average of 60% or a GPA of 2.0 in order to graduate
  • A minimum of 25% of courses must be completed through Durham College.

Program Admission Form Students are required to complete and submit this form to indicate that the program’s admission requirements have been met. This form must be submitted prior to registering for your first course.

Current Program of Study Students are required to print or save a copy of the Program of Study when beginning the program. This document contains critical details about program progression and graduation requirements specific to the academic year in which your program was started.

Students who began this program prior to the current academic year may contact the Continuing Education office at coned@durhamcollege.ca or 905-721-3052 to obtain your Program of Study and graduation requirements.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be equipped to:

  • Develop and maintain professional helping relationships which adhere to professional, legal and ethical standards aligned to social service work
  • Identify strengths, resources and challenges of individuals, families, groups, and communities and assist them in achieving their goals
  • Recognize diverse needs and experiences of individuals, groups, families and communities to promote accessible and responsive programs and services
  • Identify current social policy, relevant legislation, and political, social and/or economic systems and their impacts on service delivery
  • Advocate for appropriate access to resources to assist individuals, families, groups and communities
  • Develop and maintain positive working relationships with colleagues, supervisors, and community partners
  • Develop strategies and plans that lead to the promotion of self-care, improved job performance, and enhanced work relationships
  • Integrate social group work and group facilitation skills across a wide range of environments, supporting growth and development of individuals, families, and communities
  • Work in communities to advocate for change strategies that promote social and economic justice and challenge patterns of oppression and discrimination
  • Implement the Life Skills methodology across a wide range of environments supporting growth of individuals in a variety of contexts
  • Utilize intentional counselling techniques to facilitate the interview and counselling process in a variety of settings
  • Apply the knowledge of family dynamics when counselling the client and/or family
  • Demonstrate the principles of crisis intervention in a variety of settings
  • Apply the principles of psychopharmacology and pharmacotherapy in the practice of social service work

Career Options

Potential career and industry options may include:

  • Addictions counsellor
  • Case manager
  • Crisis worker
  • Disability support worker
  • Employment counsellor
  • Intake worker
  • Mental health worker
  • Residential counsellor
  • Shelter worker
  • Youth counsellor
  • Community development worker
  • Addictions agencies
  • Community living associations
  • Educational institutions
  • Employment services
  • Mental health agencies
  • Social service agencies
  • Supportive living residences
  • Women's shelters

Field Placement

  • Students must visit the Field Placement Page for information, deadlines and instructions for applying for this program's field placement requirement.

  • Seat availability for field placement courses are limited. Please visit the field placement page for further details.

  • The final Field Placement is not eligible for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR).

Program Related Questions? Call 905.721.3052

If you are interested in applying for financial aid, please visit the Continuing Education OSAP Eligibility webpage.

Currently offered

Course Title Location
COUN 2580Abnormal PsychologyMonthly Intake Online
COUN 2580Abnormal PsychologyOnline
COMM 2785Academic Writing for Success StrategiesOnline
COMM 2785Academic Writing for Success StrategiesMonthly Intake Online
SSW 4580Addictions & Mental Health: Theory & Practice (for SSW)Distance Education
TEAC 1980Adult LearningMonthly Intake Online
TEAC 1980Adult LearningOnline
GNED 1181AnthropologyOnline
SCI 1080AstronomyOnline
POL 1080Canadian PoliticsOnline
COMM 1884Communication FoundationsDistance Education
GNED 1489Complementary Therapies IntroductionOnline
PSYC 1080Criminal Psychology - Psychopathic MindsOnline
PSYC 1080Criminal Psychology - Psychopathic MindsMonthly Intake Online
SSW 2586Crisis Intervention for SSWDistance Education
ENG 1080Critical ThinkingOnline
ENG 1080Critical ThinkingMonthly Intake Online
CRIM 1080Cults and TerrorismOnline
PSYC 2580Development across the LifespanMonthly Intake Online
PSYC 2580Development across the LifespanOnline
SSW 2581Diversity & Cultural CompetenceOnline
GNED 1483Domestic and Workplace ViolenceOnline
ENVI 1080Environmental CitizenshipMonthly Intake Online
ENVI 1080Environmental CitizenshipOnline
COUN 3581Family & Family SystemsOnline
COMM 1888Fundamental Communication SkillsDistance Education
COUN 3583Group DynamicsOnline
CHLD 4581Human SexualityOnline
CHLD 4581Human SexualityMonthly Intake Online
SSW 1582Interviewing Skills 1Online
SSW 2582Interviewing Skills IIOnline
COUN 2584Lifeskills PracticeDistance Education
COUN 2585Lifeskills TheoryOnline
ENG 1384LiteratureOnline
CCA 1585Management Leadership SkillsOnline
CCA 1585Management Leadership SkillsMonthly Intake Online
COUN 1583Pharmacology & BehaviourDistance Education
PFP 8215Politics and Public AdministrationOnline
GNED 1492Popular Culture and the MediaOnline
PSYC 1551Principles of PsychologyDistance Education
SSW 1584Professional Practice in SSWDistance Education
PSYC 1051Psychology IntroductionOnline
PSYC 1051Psychology IntroductionMonthly Intake Online
WRIT 1582Record Keeping & Report WritingDistance Education
SSWF 1080SSW Field Placement PreparationOnline
GNED 1481Social Media and SocietyOnline
FWK 1587Social Service Worker Field Placement I & SeminarDistance Education
FWK 2581Social Service Worker Field Placement II & SeminarDistance Education
FWK 3581Social Service Worker Field Placement III & SeminarDistance Education
SSW 3581Social Welfare PolicyDistance Education
SOCI 1051Sociology IntroductionOnline
SOCI 1051Sociology IntroductionMonthly Intake Online
HLTH 1387Stress, Wellness & NutritionMonthly Intake Online
HLTH 1387Stress, Wellness & NutritionOnline
GNED 1491The Game of Soccer and its Impact on SocietyOnline
GNED 1281Western: A Study in the Film GenreOnline
RELG 1980World Religions: Western and Eastern TraditionsOnline