Social Service Worker
Make a difference! Channel your passion for helping others. Develop clinical skills. Advocate for human rights. Empower communities.

General information

Program code
4 Semesters (2 Years)
Ontario College Diploma
Work integrated learning
2 Field Placements
Academic area

Intake information

Start date Campus
Fall 2021 Orangeville, Orillia, South Georgian Bay
Winter 2021 Orillia

Program description

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.

Admission information

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.

Admission details

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.


Program-specific Courses

  • SSWK 1000 - Human Development Across the Lifespan
    (Semester 1 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 1001 - Introduction to Social Service Work
    (Semester 1 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 1002 - Family Sociology for Social Service Work
    (Semester 1 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 1003 - Principles of a Helping Relationship
    (Semester 1 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 1010 - Field Placement Preparation
    (Semester 1 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 1006 - Case Management
    (Semester 2 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 1012 - Mental Health and Addictions in Social Service Work Practice
    (Semester 2 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 1013 - Social Welfare and Political Ideologies
    (Semester 2 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 1017 - Ethics, Professionalism, and Wellness in the Social Services
    (Semester 2 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 2000 - Diversity and Multiculturalism in Canada
    (Semester 3 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 2009 - Field Placement Seminar 1
    (Semester 3 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 2013 - Practical Techniques in the Helping Relationship
    (Semester 3 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 2014 - Community Practice in Social Service Work
    (Semester 3 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 2015 - Field Placement 1
    (Semester 3 / 224 hours)
  • SSWK 2006 - Community Development: Advocacy for Social and Economic Justice
    (Semester 4 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 2007 - Consolidating Techniques in the Helping Relationship
    (Semester 4 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 2010 - Field Placement Seminar 2
    (Semester 4 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 2017 - Group Facilitation and Dynamics
    (Semester 4 / 42 hours)
  • SSWK 2016 - Field Placement 2
    (Semester 4 / 224 hours)

Communications courses

  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
    (Semester 1)
  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
    (Semester 2)

General education courses

  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.
    (Semester 2)
  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.
    (Semester 3)
  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.
    (Semester 4)