Social Service Worker(SSW) is an innovative two-year program designed to guide you in developing the knowledge, values and skills to work directly with a wide range of people confronting the full breadth of social issues and challenges. You will learn to identify and understand systemic barriers that can impede access to social and economic justice in today's society, and work with those most affected to break down those barriers.
Students will examine the expanding professional roles and responsibilities of Social Service Workers in large urban centres and within a rapidly changing society.
In addition to the theoretical models, methods and skills of social service work practice, you will learn about:
- group facilitation
- allyship and anti-oppressive practice
- counselling skills
- community development and proposal writing
- social innovation
- mental health
- substance use and addiction
Apply to this program if you:
- have strong interpersonal skills and comfort working with people
- are committed to working toward a more just and equitable society
- are committed to examining the dynamics of power and oppression
- are committed to examining yourself and your 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
There is a one-year Social Service Worker full-time option available to graduates of a baccalaureate program in disciplines such as psychology, sociology, women’s studies, environmental studies, education and cultural anthropology at a university. Students with degrees from other disciplines may be considered if they successfully completed a minimum of 6 social science courses.
This fast-track option is also open to graduates of a college diploma program including:
In preparation for the field placement, students will be required to work in multiple small and large groups within classes and community settings.
Find a complete list of degrees and diplomas considered for admission to the SSW C135 fast-track program.
SSW Pathways to BSW and MSW
Part Time Study Options
This program is not available part-time.
Your Field Study options
You will have the opportunity to participate in approximately 600 hours of field experience supervised by qualified professional practitioners in community agencies in a full year placement in the second year of the program.
The college maintains relationships with agencies operating in a wide range of institutional and community-based settings throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
The George Brown College School of Social and Community Services has been offering placement opportunities in countries such as Jamaica and India for a number of years. When available, these opportunities are only open to students in the two-year, full-time program (C119).
Note: In compliance with the requirements of our student placement partners, all students in this program must have a police vulnerable sector check completed 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 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 check once they begin the program.
Program Standards and Learning Outcomes
The Ministry of Trainining, Colleges and Universities program standards apply to all Social Service Worker Diploma Programs delivered by OCAAT institutions.
The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:
- Develop respectful and collaborative professional and interpersonal relationships that adhere to professional, legal, and ethical standards aligned to social service works.
- Record information accurately and communicate effectively in written, digital, verbal and non-verbal ways, in adherence to privacy and freedom of information legislation, in accordance with professional and workplace standards.
- Integrate a practice framework within a service delivery continuum, addressing the needs of individuals, families and communities at micro, mezzo, macro and global levels, and work with them in achieving their goals.
- Plan and implement accessible and responsive programs and services, recognizing the diverse needs and experiences of individuals, groups, families and communities and meeting these needs.
- Examine current social policy, relevant legislation, and political, social, historical, and/or economic systems and their impacts for individuals and communities when delivering services to the user/client.
- Develop strategies and approaches that support individual clients, groups, families and communities in building the capacity for self-advocacy, while affirming their dignity and self-worth.
- Work from an anti-oppressive, strengths-based practice, recognizing the capacity for resilience and growth of individuals and communities when responding to the diverse needs of marginalized or vulnerable populations to act as allies and advocates.
- Develop strategies and approaches to implement and maintain holistic self-care as a member of a human service profession.
- Work with individuals, groups, families and their communities to ensure that service provider strategies promote social and economic justice, and challenge patterns of oppression, discrimination and harassment, and sexual violence with clients, coworkers and communities.
- Develop the capacity to work with the Indigenous individual, families, groups and communities while respecting their inherent rights to self-determine, and to identify and address systemic barriers that produce ill-effects, developing appropriate responses using approaches such as trauma informed care practice.
Note: The learning outcomes have been numbered as a point of reference; numbering does not imply prioritization, sequencing, nor weighting of significance.
Visit us on campus
Attending an Info Session (mini-open house) can be a great way to learn more about programs directly from our knowledgeable staff and faculty.
Or consider taking an upcoming campus tour to see our learning facilities, student spaces and much more.
Try our virtual tour to look inside our student spaces, residence, labs & classrooms.