Students in the Social Service Worker program at Algonquin College in the Ottawa Valley learn social work theory, and gain more than 500 hours of practical experience under the supervision of social work employers. This experience creates a bond between the student, the employer and the college, and enriches the student’s learning.
Please note that the below information contains wrong information in regards to “Hepatitis B vaccines” and a student’s field placement.
The College now requires all students to have a Hepatitis B vaccine prior to the commencement of the field placement. The influenza vaccine is not required by all field placement agencies, however, some do require student to have this vaccine as well.
- Ontario College Diploma
- 2 Years
- Program Code:
- Academic Year:
This two-year Ontario College Diploma program prepares students to work as practical front-line service providers in a variety of social service settings. The program consists of four levels where learning occurs in both the classroom and practical settings. The curriculum includes courses in social work methods, behaviour management, social welfare systems, addictions, community development and the humanities. To provide exposure to working with a wide range of client groups, students are required to complete field work placements in Levels 02, 03 and 04.
This program is well-suited for students who:
- Are mature and committed.
- Have effective interpersonal skills.
- Are interested in social issues, such as, poverty, homelessness, oppression and human rights.
- Understand the importance of successful communication with clients and community partners.
- Are team-oriented and enjoy working with others.
- Are able to deal effectively with stressful situations.
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Graduates may be employed as front-line workers in provincial, municipal and private social service agencies including social service departments, long-term care facilities, addiction and mental health services, schools and programs for youths, community health centres and residential treatment programs.
Graduates support vulnerable people who are impacted by issues, such as loss and separation, family crisis, poverty, violence, homelessness, addiction, disability, unemployment, gender identity, immigration and culture.
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Basic computer skills required to succeed in college and in the workplace are covered. Students gain experience using the college standard, elearning software Blackboard. Topics covered include effective use of email, email attachments and word processing. Also covered is the management of data using spreadsheets, as well as graphic presentation of spreadsheet information. Effective Internet searching is discussed, as well as sources of Internet mapping information.
Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on meeting the requirements of effective communication. Through a combination of lectures, exercises, and independent learning, students practise writing, speaking, reading, listening, locating and documenting information, and using technology to communicate professionally. Students develop and strengthen communication skills that contribute to success in both educational and workplace environments.
|FAM7116||Philosophy of Social Work|
A broad overview of the history and methods of social work illustrating the changes in paradigms that have occurred is provided. Students learn the philosophical foundations of social work, its values and ethics and how this applies to interventions, with emphasis on minority groups in a variety of client-service settings.
|FAM7214||Preparation for Field Work|
Students are provided with information about social services offered in Renfrew County and a gradual preparation for field placement.
Students are introduced to the basic skills required for effective interviewing. Through written exercises, role plays, small group activities, and video presentations, students practise in a systematic manner, skills required to build a helping relationship with clients.
|FAM7218||Field of Social Welfare I|
Students are intoduced to fundamental and changing social welfare concepts necessary to social service delivery systems, primarily in Ontario. Students gain an understanding of the issues of transfer payments and programs, the Human Rights Codes and an overview of the history of social welfare in Canada including a focus on the aged client.
Students gain a basic understanding of the characteristics of addiction, current explanations of addictive behaviours, and the community resources available in both prevention and treatment of addictions.
A general review of human development over the lifespan is provided. The major stages and tasks of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood are examined and integrated. Students attempt to apply the knowledge of their own life path. Cultural, social, psychological and biological bases of influences are discussed.
Students become familiar with the phases of the planned change process with special emphasis on assessment. They are introduced to a general approach to working with people in crisis. Crisis generated by violence within families, loss, bereavement and suicide are examined in depth.
|FAM7129||Field Work I|
During this introduction to field practice, students work in an agency under agency personnel supervision. Emphasis is placed on beginning interviewing and assessment skills, demonstration of a teamwork approach and a committed interest in the field to prepare for the second field practicum. Regular supervisory sessions with the faculty and field supervisors are included.
Students develop skills in the execution of the tasks involved in social work research at a beginning level.
|FAM7220||Field of Social Welfare II|
Students are introduced to Canadian health and mental health systems and programs. Students gain an understanding of issues of Medicare, mental health reform, alternative or complementary care, and overall continuum of long-term community care for society's vulnerable adults and the aging population. A review of the Ontario Disability Support Program is included.
Issues involved in working with groups in a variety of social work settings are examined. Students become familiar with the concepts of group dynamics and the process of initiating, observing, facilitating and evaluating groups. Students gain first-hand experience through participation in small student-facilitated groups.
|FAM7326||Practicum Seminar I|
Students integrate theory with issues arising from their experiences in field practice. In small discussion groups, students share field placement experiences, identify concerns, and work towards developing problem-solving skills and intervention strategies.
Knowledge and theories of mental health care are provided. Some of the topics include theories and therapies, assessment, classification and diagnostic tools, lifespan developmental issues, psychological and psychosocial disorders and issues, treatment strategies of mental health practitioners and future challenges in mental health.
Prerequisites: PSY7603 or PSY7711
|ENL7694||Communication Skills for the Social Service Worker|
Students achieve graduate level communication skills required by social service workers. Topics include workplace and employment correspondence, report writing, proposals and other communication topics required in today's workplace.
|FAM7126||Community Organization I|
Students are introduced to the role and place of the non-profit sector in society and the economy, as well as the nature of work within social service agencies. Methods for working and problem solving within social service agencies are explored.
|FAM7139||Field Work II|
Students work two days per week in an agency different than first year. The emphasis is on more in-depth involvement with the agency and a continued effort to relate theory to practice. The placement involves regular supervision sessions with the field and faculty supervisors where possible.
Prerequisites: FAM7129 and FAM7326
|FAM7234||Field of Social Welfare III|
This course continues and expands upon the concepts and discussions from the previous two courses with particular emphasis on poverty, income maintenance programs, homelessness and housing, welfare and workfare and seniors issues.
Building on knowledge gained, students learn the major theoretical approaches to supportive counselling.
|FAM7336||Practicum Seminar II|
This course continues to interrelate theory with practice. Through small group discussion, students explore their capabilities and expand their potential in field placements.
|Choose one from equivalencies:||Hours|
|GED1432||General Education Elective|
Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following five theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.
Equivalencies: ARC9001 or ENL7643 or ENV0002 or FAM1218 or FIN2300 or GED1896 or GED5002 or GED5004 or GED5005 or GED5006 or GED5009 or GED5200 or GED5300 or GED6022 or GEN1001 or GEN1957 or GEN2000 or GEN2003 or GEN2007 or GEN2009 or HIS0001 or HIS2000 or HOS2228 or LIB1982 or MGT7330 or MVM8800 or PSI1702 or RAD2001 or SOC2003 or PSI0003
Students explore a framework for viewing the family as a unit. Various concepts and approaches to working with families are examined. Particular issues and problems experienced by many families today are explored, as well as the resources available for the alleviation of such problems. Much of this is done in a format of student-organized workshops.
|FAM7149||Field Work III|
This advanced final field experience takes place preferably in the same agency selected for Field Work II. Students continue the transfer of theory into practice and the development of skills to function effectively in a social service agency setting. The course involves regular supervision sessions with the field and faculty supervisors.
Prerequisites: FAM7139 and FAM7336
|FAM7244||Field of Social Welfare IV|
Students are introduced to family and child protection issues, youth crime issues and agencies involved, First Nations issues and the adult corrections system in Canada.
|FAM7256||Community Organization II|
Students are introduced to the field and practice of community development, organizing for citizen participation and becoming a social change agent. Advocacy, lobbying and practical skill training are emphasized, as students get involved in local issues.
|FAM7346||Practicum Seminar III|
This advanced course, continues the use of case studies, with more emphasis placed on analysis. Small discussion groups engaged in the continued processing of the field work experience expand and promote the professional growth of students as they reach graduation.
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Tuition Fees: $1,266.75 per term in Levels 01 and 02 and $1,260.69 per term in Levels 03 and 04.
Information Technology Fee: $62 per term. *
Student Activity/Sports Fee: $200.50 per term.
Student Commons/Auditorium Fee: $22 per term.
Student Centre Building Fee: $17.50 per term.
Health Service Fee: $20 per term.
Health Plan Fee: $117.02 paid once annually. **
A $40 graduation fee is payable in the final term.
A $25 transcript fee is payable in the first term a student attends Algonquin College.
International Students pay all relevant Canadian fees plus an International Premium of $4,400 per term.
* Students paying the Information Technology fee are provided with a network account, an email address, and Internet access. For more information please visit our website at algonquincollege.com/its/support/IT-Fee/index-it-fee.htm
** Students who have coverage with another plan can request a refund by supplying the Students' Association with documentation supporting the request. This request will have to be made annually.
Books and supplies cost approximately $1,100 in the first year, $900 in the second year and can be purchased in the campus bookstore.
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- Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
- Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
- General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
- Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $40 (subject to change) will be charged.
- English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent) with a grade of 65% or higher.
- Attend a compulsory interview, to which applicants will be invited subject to providing proof of a grade of 65% or higher in Grade 11 English (ENG3C) or successful completion of Grade 12 English (ENG4C or equivalent). This Grade 11 requirement is to determine interview eligibility only.
- Provide a completed reference form from an agency supervisor based on relevant volunteer, paid work or educational/co-op placement, working directly with clients, in a human service agency. A minimum of 40 hours is required. The agency setting could include: shelters, extendicare facilities, schools, or other front line agencies dealing with vulnerable people.
Students accepted into the Social Service Worker program must meet the following health requirements:
- Provide evidence of full and complete immunizations. The Algonquin College Health Services will review the student's record of immunization and provide authorization for entry into field placement. Some field placement agencies may require the Hepatitis B vaccine and the Influenza vaccine.
- The Social Service Worker program and the profession of Social Service Work are both physically and emotionally demanding. Proficiency in time management and stress management are essential.
Police Records Check Documentation:
Successful completion of field placement is a requirement for graduation from the Social Service Worker program. Agencies that provide placement opportunities may require you to have a clear Police Records Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector (PRCSVS). Your acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency. If you register in the program and do not have a clear PRCSVS and as a result are unable to participate in placement, you will not be able to graduate.
Field Placement Eligibility:
To be eligible for placement, you must submit proof of a PRCSVS, which will be retained on your departmental file and used only for purposes related to your placement. You will be required to disclose the contents of the PRCSVS, including all notations, to the placement agencies.
It is your responsibility to obtain the PRCSVS from your local Police Department prior to the deadline identified by your Department and to pay any associated costs. It may take a long time to obtain this documentation; please submit your application as early as possible. Should you require further information, contact the Program Chair.
Students must obtain First Aid and CPR level "C" certificate prior to November 1st in order to be eligible for field placement.
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Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:
60 Corporate Court
Applications are available online at www.ontariocolleges.ca A $95 fee applies.
Applications for Fall Term, Winter Term and Spring Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.
International applicants applying from out-of-country can obtain the International Student Application Form at https://xweb.algonquincollege.com/FormIE/index.aspx or by contacting the Registrar's Office.
For further information on the admissions process, contact:
Algonquin College in the Ottawa Valley
315 Pembroke Street East
Pembroke, ON K8A 3K2
Telephone: 613-735-4700 ext. 2708
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Individuals considering the Social Service Worker program should have dealt with personal crises before entering this field. This profession requires mature, flexible workers who commit to personal wellness and self care, to social justice, to antiracist and antihomophobic perspectives.
This Full-time program is also offered at the Woodroffe and the Perth Campuses. While the learning outcomes at the Pembroke, Woodroffe and Perth Campuses are the same, the curriculum order and subject delivery are reflective of local circumstances which affect program delivery.
"Social Service Worker" is a registered professional title which may only be used by members in good standing of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). This relates to Ontario legislation called "The Social Work and Social Service Worker Act". Graduates of the Social Service Worker program are required by law to join the OCSWSSW after graduation in order to use this professional title. The OCSWSSW grants or denies membership. See www.ocswssw.org for more information.
For more information, contact Shawn Pentecost, Program Coordinator, at 613-735-4700 ext. 2766 or email@example.com.
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