Preparing Social Service Worker graduates to be agents of and allies for change and social justice in diverse communities for over 10 years.

Social Service Worker (Fast-Track) 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 community 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.

Apply Now

Women with a hijab, who is standing in front of the photo, smiling. In the background there are 3 male students and 3 female students discussing a concept on chart paper


Program name
Social Service Worker
Experiential learning
Field Education
6 weeks, 8 months (3 semesters)
Starting month
Ontario College Diploma
Method of study

Year of Study

Select a year to view.

Compare Programs


Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2020 N/A
Jan. 2021 N/A
May 2021 Open
International students
This program is currently only available to domestic students.

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.

Part Time Study Options

This program is not available part-time.

Experiential Learning

Field Education

Your Field Study options

As part of the Social Service Worker (Fast-Track) program, you will have the opportunity to participate in approximately 600 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).” 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:

  1. Develop respectful and collaborative professional and interpersonal relationships that adhere to professional, legal, and ethical standards aligned to social service works.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Develop strategies and approaches to implement and maintain holistic self-care as a member of a human service profession.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Required Courses

SEMESTER 2 (May - June)

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
SWRK1051Fundamentals in Social Work
SWRK1052Effective Communication In Social Service Work
SWRK1070Understanding & Working with Groups
SWRK1071Perspectives on Mental Health
SWRK1072Social Change & Proposal Development
SWRK1073The Sociology of Power, Privilege & Identity

SEMESTER 3 (September - December)

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
SWRK 2052Group Facilitation
SWRK2057Substance Use and Addiction
SWRK2058Perspectives On Mental Health
SWRK2059Community Development
SWRK2056Case Management: An Anti-Oppressive Approach
Program Related Elective

SEMESTER 4 (January - April)

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
SWRK2053Concurrent Disorders
SWRK2075Field Placement II
SWRK2076Field Work Seminar II
SWRK2084Social Service Work with Families
Program Related Elective


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
SWRK1054Working with Older Adults
SWRK1055Working with Indigenous People Of Canada
SWRK1056Dynamics of Oppression
SWRK1058Social Enterprise
SWRK1059Advanced Counselling Practice

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

Detailed course outlines

General Education Electives

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

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

Future Study Options

Graduates may apply to complete a second diploma in a related George Brown College program in a reduced time frame [e.g. Community Worker (Fast-Track) program].

For further information on future study options, see

Graduates are eligible to apply for advanced standing in Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programs at:

Graduates can also complete a four-year degree program in Community Economic and Social Development at Algoma University. With a grade point average of 3.0, graduates of the Social Service Worker program receive two years’ credit toward this four-year degree at Algoma University.


$3,619.00* ‡

Additional Cost

*Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in Fall 2019. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2020 and at later dates.

‡May semester fees are paid separately.

Financial Assistance

This program is approved for OSAP funding (for Semesters 3 and 4), provided the applicant meets OSAP eligibility criteria.

Note: Semester 2 (May-June) is not eligible for OSAP funding.

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 for more details.

Course Exemptions


Apply to

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges

Special Requirements

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.

Success Stories

"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."

Gail Poskitt [Graduate 2013, Social Service Worker (Fast-Track)], Customer Support Representative, PointClickCare

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.

SSW (Fast-Track) Program Co-ordinators:

Charlene Dunstan

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2652


Maureen Boettcher

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 6070


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.

People who viewed this program also viewed:

    Looking for more?

    George Brown College is continually striving to improve its programs and their delivery. The information contained in this calendar 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 admission, graduation, and fee requirements as well as any requirements of outside institutions, industry associations, or other bodies that may award additional designations concurrently with, or after completion of, a George Brown College program.