Social Service Worker Program (Accelerated) (C135)

Program Description

Leadership Claims

Preparing Social Service Worker graduates to be agents of and allies for change and social justice in diverse communities for over twenty years.

Program Overview

George Brown College's Social Service Worker (Accelerated) (C135) is an innovative program that provides students with the opportunity to learn theoretical models, methods of practice, group facilitation, mental health supports, social innovation and anti-oppressive practice. This is a condensed version (three semesters) of the two-year (C119) program that allows college and university graduates from the social sciences entry into a career in social services.

PLEASE NOTE: If you apply to the 2023/24 intake for this program, you will start in May 2024. To begin your studies in May 2023, apply to the 2022/23 academic year.

Full Description

George Brown College's Social Service Worker (Accelerated) (C135) is an innovative one-year program (three semesters) designed to guide you in developing the knowledge, values and skills to work directly with a wide range of people in need. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you apply to the 2023/24 intake for this program, you will start in May 2024. To begin your studies in May 2023, apply to the 2022/23 academic year.

This accelerated program stream is available to college and university graduates with a diploma or degree related to the field of social or community work.

In this program, you will learn to identify and act upon the systemic barriers that can impede access to social and economic justice in today’s society.

Students will examine the expanding professional roles and responsibilities of social service workers in large urban centres and other communities within a rapidly changing society.

In addition to studying the theoretical models, methods and skills of social service work practice, you will learn about and develop skills in:

  • group facilitation
  • allyship and anti-oppressive practice
  • counselling
  • substance use and addiction
  • social change and proposal development
  • social innovation
  • mental health

Apply to the Social Service Worker (Accelerated) program if you:

  • have strong interpersonal skills and are comfortable working with people and groups
  • are committed to working toward a more just and equitable society
  • are committed to examining the dynamics of power, oppression and social location
  • are seeking to work with a wide range of individuals, groups and communities

Many of the Social Service Worker faculty have professional experience with:

  • marginalized communities
  • institutional health and social service organizations
  • federal, provincial and municipal governments
  • research and initiatives in social innovation
  • a range of not-for-profit organizations and agencies
  • direct practice with individuals, families, groups and communities

In preparation for field placement, students will be required to work in multiple small and large groups within classes and community settings.

Apply to the Social Service Worker (Accelerated) program if you are a university graduate with a degree in a related discipline* such as:

  • psychology
  • sociology
  • women’s studies
  • environmental studies
  • education and cultural anthropology

* Students with degrees from other disciplines may be considered if they successfully completed a minimum of six relevant social science courses.


A college graduate with a diploma in:

Find a complete list of degrees and diplomas considered for admission to the SSW (Accelerated) (C135) program.

Students must successfully complete a mandatory six-week bridging program that begins in May prior to entering into the fall semester. This bridging program is not eligible for additional transfer credits.

Additional fees will apply for the spring/summer semester. 

Note: Students are not eligible for OSAP for the Spring/Summer semester.

George Brown College is a signatory of Colleges and Institutes Canada’s Indigenous Education Protocols, which reaffirms the importance of structures and approaches required to address Indigenous peoples’ learning needs and support self-determination and socio-economic development of Indigenous communities.

In response to this and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, the Social Service Worker program is committed to developing the capacity of its students to work with the Indigenous individual, families, groups and communities. The Social Service Worker program would like to acknowledge the support of Indigenous Education and Services and Negahneewin Council who have helped the faculty with this process. The Indigenous Learning Outcomes are guiding the embedment of Indigenous learning into the curriculum.

Your Field Education Options

As part of the Social Service Worker (Accelerated) program, you will have the opportunity to participate in approximately 528 hours of supervised field experience.

With a network of over 350 social services agencies that provide specialized community-based services and supports to a wide range of people across the Greater Toronto Area, you’ll have the chance to find an experience that matches an area(s) of interest.

Police Vulnerable Sector Check Note:

In compliance with the requirements of our field partners, all students in this program are encouraged to complete a police vulnerable sector check before commencing their field placement.

These reference checks, which can take up to four months, are done to protect the clientele of these agencies who are considered “vulnerable persons” under the law.

The fees for the reference checks vary by region and must be paid by the student. Students are responsible for ensuring that the check covers appropriateness for “individuals being employed and/or volunteering who will be working with vulnerable person(s).”

The program will assist students in applying for the police vulnerable sector check once they begin the program.

Students without a clear police reference check may find that their choice of placement is limited. Students in this situation are encouraged to work with the field education co-ordinator to identify placement opportunities that do not require the vulnerable sector check. Students are also encouraged to inquire and apply for Suppression and Destruction of Record or Record Suspension (formerly known Pardon) at their specific regional police services, in order to prepare for their future career or employment. For more information, please visit the Clinical Pre-placement website.

Career & Postgraduate Study Opportunities

Career Options

Graduates meet the educational requirements for registration as a Social Service Worker in the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW).

Social Service Worker (Accelerated) graduates may work directly with people in social services or be involved in community development or social justice and allyship initiatives. Previous graduates have found employment in a variety of places including:

  • mental health
  • homelessness
  • poverty
  • substance use and addictions
  • long-term care
  • criminal justice
  • crisis supports
  • settlement and immigration

Educational Pathways

Graduates of the Social Service Worker (Accelerated) (C135) program may apply to complete a second diploma in a related George Brown College program in a reduced time frame:

For further information on future study options, see Transfer Guide.

Social Service Worker (Accelerated) Graduates who successfully complete this program may qualify for advanced standing in:

The following Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programs:

The Community Economic and Social Development B.A. at Algoma University also welcomes graduates of the Social Service Worker program.

These are just some examples of where graduates can pursue future study options.

For further information, see Transfer Guide. For details, please follow the links above to program websites.

Alumni Impact

We are immensely proud of the contributions of our alumni in Toronto and around the globe.

From Michelin-starred restaurants to major construction, entertainment, community and financial organizations, our graduates are truly making an impact across a range of industries.

Latest Alumni Stories

“So much has happened since I left GBC. I got a job at a community centre right after I finished the program and I am now having my placement at Scarborough Women's Centre, And last week I signed a contract with a group practice that is specialized in psychotherapy for queer clients. I got registered as an RSSW, got liability insurance, have a supervisor working with me.!!! The only reason why this is all possible is that I have an SSW diploma. I am so happy, and I did not expect to be where I am so quickly. I am still one year away from being an MSW, but I am already doing the work I wanted. GBC was an important piece in all of this.”

— Carla Barbosa, 2021 Graduate, Master of Social Work Student & Registered Social Service Worker – Counselor Registered Social Service Worker - Our Landing Place

Carla Barbosa
Ontario College Diploma

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