Social Service Worker Program


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Leadership Claims

Preparing graduates to be agents of and advocates for change and social justice for more than 10 years.

Program Overview

Social Service Worker (Fast-Track) is an innovative program that provides students with the opportunity to learn theoretical models, methods of practice, group facilitation, life skills, supports for mental health, community organizing and development. 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.

Full Description

Social Service Worker (Fast-Track) 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. This 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’ll 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 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

Apply to this 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 6 social science courses.


A college graduate with a diploma in:

Find a complete list of degrees and diplomas considered for admission to the SSW C135 fast-track program.

Students must successfully complete a 6-week bridging program that begins in May 2020 prior to entering into the Fall semester.

Additional fees will apply for the Spring/Summer semester. Note: Students are not eligible for OSAP for the Spring/Summer semester.

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

Your Field Education Options

As part of the Social Service Worker (Fast-Track) program, you will have the opportunity to participate in approximately 550 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.

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).”

Program Learning Outcomes

Note: Under review and subject to change effective Fall 2018.

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, families, groups, 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.


Required Courses

SEMESTER 2 (May - June)

semester courses
Code Course Name
SWRK1052 Effective Communication In Social Service Work
SWRK1051 Fundamentals in Social Work
SWRK1070 Understanding & Working with Groups
SWRK1071 Perspectives on Mental Health
SWRK1072 Social Change & Proposal Development
SWRK1073 The Sociology of Power, Privilege and Identity

SEMESTER 3 (September - December)

semester courses
Code Course Name
SWRK 2052 Group Facilitation
SWRK2057 Substance Use and Addiction
SWRK2058 Perspectives On Mental Health
SWRK2059 Community Development
SWRK2056 Case Management: An Anti-Oppressive Approach
Program Related Elective

SEMESTER 4 (January - April)

semester courses
Code Course Name
SWRK2053 Concurrent Disorders
SWRK2075 Field Placement II
SWRK2076 Field Work Seminar II
SWRK2084 Social Service Work with Families
Program Related Elective


semester courses
Code Course Name
SWRK1059 Advanced Counselling Practice
SWRK1054 Working with Older Adults
SWRK1055 Working with Indigenous People Of Canada
SWRK1056 Dynamics of Oppression
SWRK1058 Social Enterprise

Note: This program is undergoing curriculum review and development. The revised curriculum is proposed for Fall 2019.

Detailed course outlines

General Education Electives

Career & Postgraduate Study Opportunities

Your Career

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 (Fast-Track) 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:

  • substance use and addiction services
  • residential programs
  • day programs
  • case management services
  • shelters
  • drop-in and community centres
  • family service organizations
  • governmental and non-governmental services

Career Options

Social Service Worker graduates will be well prepared to work in diverse urban communities and with individuals, groups and communities confronted with a range of issues related to:

  • mental health
  • homelessness
  • poverty
  • substance use and addictions
  • criminal justice
  • crisis supports
  • settlement and immigration
  • social justice and advocacy

Tuition and Fees


$3,901.00* ‡

Additional Costs

*Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in Fall 2018. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2019 and at later dates.

‡May semester fees are paid separately.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College fee requirements.

How to Qualify and Apply

Admission Requirements

** Please note that successful completion of the 6-week preparatory module in May is required prior to entrance to the Fall semester.

English Language Proficiency

Domestic applicants with international transcripts who do not provide English proficiency test results must test at the College level in the George Brown College English assessment to be considered for admission.

Please visit English Proficiency for more details.

Course Exemptions


How to Apply

Apply To

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges

Police Vulnerable Sector Check (must renew every year)

In compliance with requests from our student placement partners, all students in this program must have a police reference check completed before 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).” Police Vulnerable Sector Checks must be renewed every year. See more information.

Student Success

Student Name
Gail Poskitt

"My teachers at George Brown gave me confidence and inspired me to think and practice in a way that would continually empower individuals that I will be working with in the social service field. The supportive learning environment allowed me to gain new perspective in how to deal with challenging situations, and taught me advocacy and problem-solving skills to build individual and community competence and capacity. Most importantly, the field placement component of the program gave me the experience to apply what I had learned in the classroom and carry it out in a real-life setting. The post-degree education I received at George Brown College definitely left a lasting impression on me and it equipped me with the fundamental skills that I use in my social work practice."

Contact Us

School of Social & Community Services

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2185


Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Charlene Dunstan, SSW (Fast-Track) Program Co-ordinator

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2652


For more information about George Brown College, you may also call the Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

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