Social Service Worker

Program: SSWK
Credential: Ontario College Diploma
Delivery: Full-time
Work Integrated Learning: 2 Field Placements
Length: 4 Semesters
Duration: 2 Years
Effective: Fall 2019, Winter 2020
Location: Orillia (Fall, Winter), South Georgian Bay (Fall)


In this program, students are provided the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills required to effectively assume the role of a helping professional in the diverse and complex field of social services. Students are challenged to examine their beliefs and values; to develop interpersonal communication skills; and to promote values of social justice, human dignity, and equity. Students gain knowledge and skill development in interviewing, communication, and relationship building; effective membership and leadership in groups; working with families; and utilizing evidence-based decision-making. Faculty continue to be committed to a teaching and learning practice that embraces and promotes equity and inclusion, with a current emphasis on Indigenous awareness and gerontological issues. There are opportunities to engage in the community through community service learning and field placement.

Career Opportunities

Graduates gain an understanding of the values and ethics that lead to the empowerment of individuals and communities, and they also meet the educational requirements for registration as a Social Service Worker in the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Employment opportunities are affiliated with community mental health, government, and non-profit agencies. Primary career categories include programs serving children and families, community shelters, mental health and disability services, employment resources, seniors’ programs, housing, and education services.

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. develop and maintain professional relationships which adhere to professional, legal, and ethical standards aligned to social service work;
  2. identify strengths, resources, and challenges of individuals, groups, families, and communities to assist them in achieving their goals;
  3. recognize diverse needs and experiences of individuals, groups, families, and communities, to promote accessible and responsive programs and services;
  4. identify current social policy; relevant legislation; and political, social, and/or economic systems, and their impacts on service delivery;
  5. advocate for appropriate access to resources to assist individuals, families, groups and communities;
  6. develop and maintain positive working relationships with colleagues, supervisors, and community partners;
  7. develop strategies and plans that lead to the promotion of self-care, improved job performance and enhanced work relationships;
  8. integrate social group work and group facilitation skills across a wide range of environments, supporting growth and development of individuals, families and communities;
  9. work in communities to advocate for change strategies that promote social and economic justice and challenge patterns of oppression and discrimination;
  10. employ environmental sustainable practices within the profession.;
  11. develop social entrepreneur skills to foster positive social change in the community.

The Program Progression

Fall Intake - Orillia, South Georgian Bay

  • Sem 1: Fall 2019
  • Sem 2: Winter 2020
  • Sem 3: Fall 2020
  • Sem 4: Winter 2021

Winter Intake - Orillia

  • Sem 1: Winter 2020
  • Sem 2: Summer 2020
  • Sem 3: Fall 2020
  • Sem 4: Winter 2021


A number of articulation agreements have been negotiated with universities and other institutions across Canada, North America and internationally. These agreements are assessed, revised and updated on a regular basis. Please contact the program co-ordinator for specific details if you are interested in pursuing such an option. Additional information can be found on our website at

Admission Requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to:

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit Transfer Centre website for details:

Criminal Reference/Vulnerable Sector Check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student's responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: A record of criminal offences, for which a pardon has not been granted, may prevent students from completing their placements, thereby affecting their ability to graduate.

Additional Information

Applicants must have an up-to-date immunization record, Standard First Aid and CPR certification before proceeding on field placement. It is recommended that First Aid training is completed prior to program entry.

Graduation Requirements

17 Program Courses
2 Communications Courses
2 Field Placements
3 General Education Courses

Graduation Eligibility

To graduate from this program, the passing weighted average for promotion through each semester, from year to year, and to graduate is 60%. Additionally, a student must attain a minimum of 50% or a letter grade of P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) in each course in each semester unless otherwise stated on the course outline.

Program Tracking

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Hours
Program Courses  
SSWK 1000 Human Development Across the Lifespan 42
SSWK 1001 Introduction to Social Service Work 42
SSWK 1002 Family Sociology for Social Service Work 42
SSWK 1003 Principles of a Helping Relationship 42
SSWK 1010 Field Placement Preparation 42
Communications Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
Semester 2
Program Courses  
SSWK 1006 Case Management 42
SSWK 1012 Mental Health and Addictions in Social Service Work Practice 42
SSWK 1013 Social Welfare and Political Ideologies 42
SSWK 1017 Ethics, Professionalism, and Wellness in the Social Services 42
Communications Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 3
Program Courses  
SSWK 2000 Diversity and Multiculturalism in Canada 42
SSWK 2009 Field Placement Seminar 1 42
SSWK 2013 Practical Techniques in the Helping Relationship 42
SSWK 2014 Community Practice in Social Service Work 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Field Placement  
SSWK 2015 Field Placement 1 224
Semester 4
Program Courses  
SSWK 2006 Community Development: Advocacy for Social and Economic Justice 42
SSWK 2007 Consolidating Techniques in the Helping Relationship 42
SSWK 2010 Field Placement Seminar 2 42
SSWK 2017 Group Facilitation and Dynamics 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Field Placement  
SSWK 2016 Field Placement 2 224
 Total Hours1372

Graduation Window 

Students unable to adhere to the program duration of two years (as stated above) may take a maximum of four years to complete their credential. After this time, students must be re-admitted into the program, and follow the curriculum in place at the time of re-admission.

Information contained in College documents respecting programs is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. The college reserves the right to add or delete programs, options, courses, timetables or campus locations subject to sufficient enrolment, and the availability of courses.  

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