Social Service Worker

Tuition and FeesDistance LearningSecond Career

Program Title: Social Service Worker
Credential Earned: Ontario College Diploma
Delivery: Full Time
Program Length: 4 Semesters
Program Status: See individual program codes for status.

Program Codes
Program codes are for September intakes except those that are indicated differently.
NORT-A007 (PC) Timmins Campus – Open
NORT-A104 (CN) Distance Learning Kirkland Lake – Open
NORT-A068 (HL) Haileybury Campus – Open
NORT-A036 (KL) Kirkland Lake Campus – Open
NORT-A031 (JB) Moosonee Campus – Open


Program Description
Social Service Workers focus on promoting equality, and addressing disadvantages that people face on the basis of race, disability, gender or age. They use their knowledge of human behaviour and development, communication, interviewing and counseling skills, to work with groups and/or communities to help them become more caring and capable of supporting their communities.

This program prepares students to work with people who are experiencing stressful events in their lives from an individual, family and community perspective. Students will learn how to intervene in crisis situations and will develop skills needed to assist individual clients, groups, families and communities to better meet their challenges and to enhance their social functioning. Clinical practice labs and field placements provide a milieu where students are able to apply theory into practice through interviewing, case assessment and planning. Students must be able to apply skills, such as teamwork and group work outside of class. They may also be required to seek feedback from agency professionals for lab work and video assignments. Northern College values lifelong learning in an effort to maintain the current competencies outlined by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. The College assists learners in developing competent skills, attitudes and an interest in the social service profession egalitarian and supportive relationships with our professors and facilitators facilitate adult learning and development.

Alternate Delivery
This program is available to students on campus and to students studying at a distance by e-learning/Contact North format. Please note that students studying by e-learning/Contact North format will be required to travel to lab locations (e.g out of town) on multiple occasions at their own expense.

For more information on programs offered through alternate modes of delivery, please contact the Admissions Office, 705-235-7222.

Career Opportunities
Social Service Workers are commonly employed by government agencies and social service agencies. Graduates are eligible to register with Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Web site: http://www.ocswssw.org/.

Contact Information
Timmins Campus
Des Quinn | Tel: 705-235-3211 ext. 2258 | quinnd@northern.on.ca

Contact North (CN), Haileybury, Kirkland Lake and Timmins Campuses
Jane Petroni | Tel: 705-235-3211 ext. 2143 | petronij@northern.on.ca

dmission Requirements
Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
Grade 12 English (C, U) (Minimum 60% GPA required)

Or equivalent

Mature students (applicants who do not have a secondary school diploma or equivalent and have reached the age of 19 years on or before the start of the program) must undergo English language comprehension and grammar testing prior to admission into a program and demonstrate through a prior learning assessment process (PLA) equivalency with the admission requirements. Call the Admissions Office at 705-235-7222 for details.

Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office (word processing), web search engines and e-mail systems. Students may assess whether or not they meet the computer proficiency expectations for this program by taking the online assessment at Computer Self Assessment Tool.

Additional Admissions Requirements

In order to prepare you for fieldwork placement, you will be required to have a current (non-expired) WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System Certificate) and current resume and cover letter.  Fieldwork placement (FWP) agencies may require additional documentation in order for you to begin FWP.  The specific documents will be made know to you in your Reflective Practice course.

A recent criminal/vulnerable sector reference check – (within 3 months) maybe required in Semester II of the program prior to the start of classes in January.

Students who do not comply with the immunization requirements may not be allowed into the field work settings and as such may not be able to complete the placements required for graduation from the program. CPR re-certification, criminal reference checks and immunization updates are required annually. Students will not be allowed on placement if documentation is not completed.

To be eligible for participation in field work practice, students must not have been convicted of any criminal offence for which that person has not been pardoned. An unpardoned criminal record may result in inability to participate in fieldwork practice courses and will prevent the student from graduating. Any costs for these tests/certifications will be the responsibility of the applicant.

It is important to note that this program requires a field work component. While the intent is for placements to be arranged in the student’s own community, when this is not possible, alternate communities will need to be considered. Students are responsible for the costs of travel to and from field work placement sites, parking costs, etc. A dress code is in effect during all lab practice sessions and during the field work component of the programs. All theory and lab course work must be successfully completed prior to field work placements.

A passing grade of 60% is required for all Community Services core courses and electives. To succeed in this program, students must be highly motivated, highly committed and physically and mentally fit.

Graduates of the CYW program are eligible for registration with the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Counsellors. Web site: http://www.oacyc.org/.

Semester 1
AA1083 Introduction to Research
CM1913 Communications I – Module B
HS1012 Community Services 1st Year Orientation (1 week)
NA1403 Social Work and First Nations People
PS1163 Developmental Psychology
SW1023 Introduction to Social Welfare
SW1053 Social Work Practice I

Semester 2
AA2041 Community Service Learning
CM2913 Communications II – Module B
PS3033 Abnormal Psychology
SW2013 Social Work Practice II Lab
SW2023 Conflict Resolution/Mediation
SW2033 Crisis Intervention
SW2043 Social Work Community Practice
SW2053 Social Work Practice II

Semester 3
AA3053 Understanding the Family
AA3063 Building Family Support
SW3003 Group Processes
SW3011 Social Work Fieldwork Placement I
SW3013 Social Work Reflective Practice
SW3053 Gerontology
SW3073 Community Organization and Development

Semester 4
SW4011 Social Worker Field Work Placement II
SW4021 Social Work Field Work Placement Seminar

Semester 1

AA1083 Introduction to Research
Community service workers engage in the research process on an ongoing basis throughout their careers. This engagement includes evaluation of programs and specific interventions, determining which programs to choose to implement and staying current about changes in their field. Consequently, an understanding of the research process is an integral skill for successful community service workers. This course will introduce students to the field of human services research in order that they become consumers and producers of research in their practice. Students will gain skills that will allow them to be reflective about the work they do with their clients and to be lifelong learners.

CM1913 Communications I – Module B
Communications 1 is designed to enhance students’ writing, speaking and critical thinking skills as required in both academic and workplace settings. Students reinforce correct grammar and mechanics usage, develop specialized vocabulary and apply effective writing techniques to produce a variety of documents. Topics covered include: the communications process; the writing process (planning, composing, editing); paragraph development, business correspondence; methods of research and documentation (A.P.A. format); essay/research paper structure and an introduction to portfolio development.

HS1012 Community Services 1st Year Orientation (1 week)
This course in an orientation to the technological tools required for the successful completion and submission of course work, assignments, tests, and exams. You will learn how to navigate both Citrix and Blackboard, how to effectuate searches in the electronic library, adhere to expected written guidelines. You will also receive tips on getting the most out of class time, and developing studying and stress management skills.

NA1403 Social Work and First Nations People
This course is intended to create a greater awareness of FN Peoples and the socioeconomic, political and legal issues they are facing today. This requires a sensitive and respectful exploration of the various FN cultures and their history within Canada both prior to and following European contact. Students who will be working with FN Peoples are expected to increase their Cultural Competence and ability to provide a culturally safe helping environment; the knowledge, values and skills developed in this course provide a foundation to work with the many diverse individuals and groups that exist.

PS1163 Developmental Psychology
This course emphasizes the continuity of development throughout the lifespan. It will focus on the interrelationships among the different stages of the lifespan and among physical, cognitive, social and personality development. The course will cover the lifespan from the crucial prenatal period through late adulthood, as well as death and the grieving process.

SW1023 Introduction to Social Welfare
This course explores the past, present and future of the Canadian welfare state. The intent of this course is to critically explore the belief and value systems that structure the role and function of social welfare institutions and social work practice in society. The course provides a general introduction of the theoretical foundations, value orientations, settings and methods of social work within the broad field of social welfare. This course is designed to complement the theoretical knowledge acquired in Social Work practice I and II. As such it focuses on further application of knowledge, values and skills relevant to building and maintaining a helping relationship and facilitating positive action.

SW1053 Social Work Practice I
This course is designed to enable students to understand and develop the human relations concepts, values and skills they need to build effective helping relationships and which serves as the foundation for the planned change process. Students will be introduced to the following core skills required for formal and structured helping: the development and use of the professional self (reflective practice), relationship/interactive skills, and evaluation skills for each of the above. Social Work Practice I is a prerequisite for Social Work Practice II and Social Work Practice II Lab.

Semester 2

AA2041 Community Service Learning
Volunteer hours in the Community Services programs are designed to help students develop a sense of community identity. As professionals in training, it is vitally important that students have an awareness of community strengths and needs. These volunteer hours will provide students with the opportunity to positively engage with community while having fun.

CM2913 Communications II – Module B
Communications II is a continuation of Communications I and is designed to strengthen practical written and oral presentation skills. Students will apply the appropriate principles and formats to job-related documents and will continue to review grammatical structures and apply editing strategies using APA format.

PS3033 Abnormal Psychology
This course examines various perspectives of abnormal psychology. Students will understand the nature, causes, and treatment of abnormal behaviour. Several theoretical viewpoints will frame a discussion of abnormal psychology. The patterns of abnormal (maladaptive) behaviour to be examined are: behaviour and emotional disorders of childhood and adolescence, eating disorders, substance-related disorders, anxiety disorders, dissociative and somatoform disorders, personality disorders, mood disorders, and schizophrenia. Students will also study treatment strategies and mental health law in Canada.

SW2013 Social Work Practice II Lab
This course is designed to complement the theoretical knowledge acquired in “Social Work Practice l & ll”. As such it focuses on further application of knowledge, values and skills relevant to building and maintaining a helping relationship and facilitating planned change efforts. The student must involve himself/herself in a LEARN, PRACTICE, REFLECTION process in order to optimize professional development.

This course will enable the student to practice and reflect upon the following core skills required for effective helping:
a) the development and use of the professional self
b) relationship/interactive skills
c) cognitive/intervention skills, and
d) evaluation skills for the above.

SW2023 Conflict Resolution/Mediation
This course is designed to help students look at conflict in a theoretical and critical manner and then to recognize and apply systemic methods of resolving disputes ranging from interpersonal conflict to analyzing more complex global issues. Students will learn to identify, avoid, and resolve their own personal conflicts as well as assisting others as a neutral third party and to do so in an efficient and effective manner.

SW2033 Crisis Intervention
This course is designed to provide students in the human services field with fundamental crisis theory that will serve as a basis for assessment, intervention and evaluating resolution of a crisis event. A six-step model of intervention is presented along with specific helping objectives in order to guide the student in the practice of crisis intervention. Recognizing that suicide risk often accompanies a crisis, students will learn to recognize suicide lethality, and acquire specific techniques involved in interrupting a suicide attempt. Ultimately, the intention of this course is to prepare the student to help turn the clients’ crisis (danger) into an opportunity for personal growth and development.

SW2043 Social Work Community Practice
This course is designed to further explore the application of knowledge, values and skills relevant to building and maintaining a professional relationship, and facilitating positive action. This course will explore the social worker as a change agent-facilitating change in neighborhoods, communities or larger social systems.

SW2053 Social Work Practice II
This is a theoretical course designed to complement and augment concepts and techniques acquired in Social Work Practice I. The student will further acquire interviewing and counselling skills along with assessment and intervention concepts to the change process.

Semester 3

AA3053 Understanding the Family
This course is designed to familiarize students with the theoretical concepts related to understanding and working with contemporary Canadian families. The course focuses on exploring the reciprocal effects between families, children and adolescents. The course examines such topics as membership, roles, power, conflict, stress and transition. Students will explore and critique the value of System’s Theory for appraising family functioning and planning and implementing objectives and interventions. Much of the classroom discussions will focus on strategies helpful in engaging families in journeys of change. Students are encouraged to ponder their own Family and “Families of Origin” in order to extend their understanding of the concepts and to explore how their own experiences and beliefs affect their practices in human services.

AA3063 Building Family Support
Building Family Supports is designed to introduce the students to the philosophy and practice of successfully engaging and working with families within a collaborative team approach in order to help family members achieve optimal positive outcomes through partnerships and trust. This course will introduce students to the myriad of service options and service coordination responsibilities involved in delivering human services to families in Ontario. Its purpose is to demystify practices such as accessing services, making referrals, treatment planning, case management and case conferencing as they apply to families. The student will explore several case studies in case conference services to illustrate each of the central tenets of the approach.

SW3003 Group Processes
This course aims to provide the theory of group processes and structures as these develop and change throughout a group’s existence. It will enable students to understand the basic elements of group process, with a focus on stages of group development, including coverage of introduction to group work; guidelines for multicultural practices; ethical and professional issues in group practice; group leadership; early stages of groups which include forming a group or the pre-group phase; initial state; transition stage; working stage; and ending a group including final and follow-up stages.

SW3011 Social Work Fieldwork Placement I
While on placement, students in the third semester of their Social Service Worker program will work to further develop a keen sense of self-awareness to help them identifying and avoiding personal biases while considering the service needs of clients in their care. Students will also work to solidify and practice a variety of clinical skills: relationship building, professionalism, behavioural interventions, counselling approaches, self evaluation, self care, and professional development.

SW3013 Social Work Reflective Practice
Students must prepare for the fieldwork placement experience involving work in a variety of settings and providing a variety of services.. Graduates of the SSW program are eligible for registration with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Web site: http://www.ocswssw.org. Students will further develop a keen sense of self-awareness to aid them in identifying and adapting to diversity while considering the service needs of the clients in their care. They will also work to practice and integrate knowledge, values and skills.

SW3053 Gerontology
This course will present Social Service Worker students with the ability to address the physical, psychological and social elements of care for the elderly and to provide comprehensive, coordinated services that not only treat illness but also promote health and optimum function. The Social Service Worker students will acquire the knowledge to assist them in meeting new challenges and to provide them with high quality services to the elderly.

SW3073 Community Organization and Development
This course will focus on the theories and practices of community organization: the facilitation of meaningful change within communities to improve the quality of life for community members and to promote progressive social change. This course is intended to provide students with an understanding of the theories, and practical opportunities to work in an interdisciplinary setting to apply community development strategies.

Semester 4
SW4011 Social Work Fieldwork Placement II
This is a cooperate endeavour between the College SSW program and various community social services agencies. Students are placed in agencies under supervision for a 15-week/600 hour duration. The objective is to provide students with a practical opportunity to integrate and apply entry-level knowledge, values and skills.

SW4021 Social Work Field Work Placement Seminar
Students, while on work placement, will have a variety of experiences in agency settings, child welfare, mental health, custody settings, health care settings, government and municipal services, school settings, etc. They will work to solidify and practice a variety of critical skills, professional relationship building, interventions, counseling approaches, self-evaluation, self-care, and professional development. Students will take part in Fieldwork Seminars one day a month throughout the placement in order to integrate their experiences in the field with the theories they learned in the classroom.

Download the complete Articulation Agreement list for Universities and Colleges (PDF, 113KB).
You can also visit OnTransfer. This site provides information and resources to help students and potential students find their way through Ontario’s postsecondary system.

Articulation Agreements – Universities

Program Degree at Receiving University
Child and Youth Worker Algoma (Ontario)
Bachelor of Social Work
or Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)
or Bachelor of Arts (Community Development)
Carleton (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Multiple Majors)
Griffith (Australia)
Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Criminology and Justice
Child and Youth Worker Athabasca (Alberta)
Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Professional Arts (Human Services)
Educational Support
Child and Youth Worker Guelph (Ontario)
Developmental Service Worker Bachelor of Applied Science in Family and Community Social Services
Social Service Worker
Developmental Service Worker Algoma (Ontario)
Bachelor of Social Work
or Bachelor of Arts (Community Development)
Developmental Service Worker Athabasca (Alberta)
Social Service Worker Bachelor of Professional Arts (Human Services)
or Bachelor of General Studies (Arts and Science)
Developmental Service Worker Ryerson (Ontario)
Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Arts (Disabilities Studies)
Social Service Worker Bachelor of Arts (Early Childhood Education)
Bachelor of Social Work
Early Childhood Education Brock (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (Honours)
Guelph (Ontario)
Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood
IOTI (Ireland)
Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education or Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (Honours)
Nipissing (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Ryerson (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Disability Studies
Windsor (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Multiple Majors
Laurentian (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts in Folklore et ethnologie
Police Foundations Athabasca (Alberta)
Bachelor of Professional Arts (Human Services) or Bachelor of Professional Arts (Criminal Justice) or Bachelor of Professional Arts (Governance, Law & Management)
Brock (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Carleton (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Multiple Majors)
Fredericton (New Brunswick)
Bachelor of Criminal Justice (online)
Griffith (Australia)
Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Guelph (Ontario)
Bachelor of Applied Arts in Justice Studies, Bachelor of Applied Science in Justice Studies from the University of Guelph and Community and Justice Services Diploma from Humber.
Husson, (Maine, USA)
Bachelor of Criminal Justice (Online)
IOTI (Ireland)
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies (Honours)
Laurentian (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts in Law and Justice
Nipissing (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice (Honours)
University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Criminology and Justice
Social Service Worker Algoma (Ontario)
Bachelor of Social Work or Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) or Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) or Bachelor of Arts (Community Development)
Griffith (Australia)
Bachelor of Human Services, Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
IOTI (Ireland)
Bachelor of Applied Social Studies (Honours)
Lakehead (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Gerontology), Bachelor of Social Work (Native Human Services)
Brock (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) or (Women Studies)
Griffith (Australia)
Bachelor of Human Services, Bachelor of Social Work
Windsor (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts Honours (Disability Studies)
Note 1: The information above is subject to change without notice at the institution’s discretion.
Note 2: Ryerson University may ask applicants to complete two or three university level liberal studies courses prior to admission.

Articulation Agreements – Colleges

Program Credential from Receiving College
Child and Youth Worker Humber (Ontario)
Bachelor of Child and Youth Care
Early Childhood Education George Brown (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts
Seneca (Ontario)
Bachelor of Child Development
Sheridan (Ontario)
Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership
Police Foundations Conestoga (Ontario)
Social Service Worker Bachelor of Community and Criminal Justice
Police Foundations Georgian (Ontario)
Bachelor of Human Services
Humber (Ontario)
Bachelor of Arts – Criminal Justice
Developmental Services Worker Utica College (New York)
Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Arts/Science Degree
Educational Support
General Arts & Sciences
Child and Youth Worker
Police Foundations
Social Service Worker
Note 1: The information above is subject to change without notice at the institution’s discretion.