Social Service Worker

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Program Code: 1203

School: School of Community and Health Studies

Credential: Diploma

Program Type: Post-secondary program

Program Length: 2 years/ 4 semesters

Start Date: Fall, Winter

Location: Ashtonbee Campus


Telephone: 416-289-5303

The Social Service Worker program prepares you to be a critical practitioner, advocate, problem solver and agent of social change as you examine the expanding professional roles and responsibilities of social service workers within a rapidly changing society.

As a student in the Social Service Worker Program, you develop the knowledge, skills and values needed to support diverse individuals, families, groups and communities to enhance their individual and collective wellbeing. Through critical thinking and reflective practice, you identify how values and ideologies contribute to the construction of social problems and solutions.

This two-year program integrates the principles, philosophies, skills and theories of social service work practice from an anti-oppressive and social justice framework. Themes related to professional competencies, group dynamics, inter-professional practice, interpersonal communication, counselling, community development, advocacy, social movements and social policies are examined.

As a graduate of the Social Service Worker program, you will meet the educational requirements for registration as a Social Service Worker in the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW).

Semester 1
Course Code Course Title Location
COMM-160/COMM-161 College Communications 1 Ashtonbee Campus
GNED General Education Elective Ashtonbee Campus
SSWR-101 Power, Privilege and Oppression Ashtonbee Campus
SSWR-102 Relational and Reflective Skills for Social Service Workers Ashtonbee Campus
SSWR-103 Introduction to Social Service Work Practice Ashtonbee Campus
SSWR-104 Fundamentals for Success as a Social Service Worker Ashtonbee Campus
Semester 2
Course Code Course Title Location
COMM-170/171 College Communication 2 Ashtonbee Campus
GNED-500 Global Citizenship: From Social Analysis to Social Action Ashtonbee Campus
SSWR-201 Social Issues and Political Process Ashtonbee Campus
SSWR-202 Group Dynamics for Social Service Work Ashtonbee Campus
SSWR-203 Power and Social Movements Ashtonbee Campus
SSWR-204 Preparation for Practice Ashtonbee Campus
Semester 3
Course Code Course Title Location
ENGL-206 Report Presentation for Community Service Workers Ashtonbee Campus
SSWR-301 Social Policy and Legislation Ashtonbee Campus
SSWR-302 Community Development Ashtonbee Campus
SSWR-303 Advanced Practice Ashtonbee Campus
SSWR-304 Field Placement 1 Ashtonbee Campus
Semester 4
Course Code Course Title Location
GNED General Education Elective Ashtonbee Campus
SSWR-401 Field Seminar Ashtonbee Campus
SSWR-402 Field Placement 2 Ashtonbee Campus

Companies Offering Jobs

Toronto and GTA agencies that have hired Social Service Worker program graduates include: Agincourt Community Services, Central Neighborhood House, City of Toronto, Springboard, Senior Link, Tropicana Community Services, Toronto Social Services, Woodgreen Community Centre, and Touchstone Youth Services.

Program Highlights

  • The Social Service Worker Program curriculum is reviewed on an annual basis to ensure courses are current, relevant and based on evidence-based research and best practices in the field.
  • Program faculty are all trained in social service work and social work practice, and have extensive knowledge, expertise and field experience.
  • You have the opportunity to obtain a Stackable Certificate in Aboriginal Studies: First Peoples in Canada during your two years in the program.
  • Two specialized field placements provided you with a valuable opportunity to integrate classroom learning, knowledge and skills in professional practice. Facilitated two days per week in the third semester and four days per week in the fourth semester, these experiences may include a variety of settings, such as governmental services, community centres, settlement agencies, social service agencies, shelters, residential group homes, employment counselling agencies, educational institutions, among others.
  • As a Social Service Worker student, you have the opportunity to apply for an International Field Placement experience in your final semester. The program has a history of strong partnerships with international organizations in countries such as Ghana, Costa Rica and Peru.
  • The Social Service Worker program provides you with certifications in SafeTALK (Suicide Prevention), Harm Reduction and Positive Space training.
  • You enjoy experiences in assessing communities, developing and writing funding proposals, social action plans as well as simulated client interviews and assessments.
  • You have the opportunity to engage in interprofessional collaboration and practice with other programs within the College community (e.g. Early Childhood Education, Police Foundations, Community and Justice Services, Nursing, etc.).

Successfully completing the Social Service Worker program will give you the ability to:

  • Develop and maintain professional relationships that adhere to professional, legal and ethical standards aligned to social service work
  • Identify strengths, resources and challenges of individuals, families, groups and communities to assist them in achieving their goals
  • Recognize diverse needs and experiences of individuals, groups, families and communities to promote accessible and responsive programs and services
  • Identify current social policy, relevant legislation, and political, social, and/or economic systems and their impacts on service delivery
  • Advocate for appropriate access to resources to assist individuals, families, groups and communities
  • Develop and maintain positive working relationships with colleagues, supervisors and community partners
  • Develop strategies and plans that lead to the promotion of self-care, improved job performance and enhanced work relationships
  • Integrate social group work and group facilitation skills across a wide range of environments that support the growth and development of individuals, families and communities
  • Work in communities to advocate for change strategies that promote social and economic justice, and challenge patterns of oppression and discrimination

Global Citizenship and Equity Portfolio

Students will develop an ePortfolio documenting their engagement with the College's signature Global Citizenship and Equity competencies. For more information on Global Citizenship and Equity, the GC&E Portfolio and the supports available to you, please visit

Educational Partners

Qualified graduates of the Social Service Worker program at Centennial College may apply to continue their post-secondary education with select universities, institutes and professional associations. These partnerships allow you to apply for academic credit for learning obtained at Centennial College.

Social Service Worker graduates are also eligible to apply for advanced standing in Bachelor of Social Work programs.

Our partners include:

  • Brock University
  • Carleton University
  • Lakehead University
  • Laurentian University
  • Nipissing University
  • Ryerson University
  • University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  • University of Windsor
  • Wilfred Laurier University
  • York University

Professional Associations

To practice in Ontario as a Social Service Worker or a Registered Social Service Worker, graduates must apply for registration with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). As a graduate of the SSW program at Centennial College, you will meet the educational requirements for registration. For more information, please visit

Placement Partners

Our Field Placement partners include: Agincourt Community Services, Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf, City of Toronto, Community Living Toronto, Distress Centre Durham, East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club, Native Child and Family Services, Pathways to Education, Riverdale Immigrant Women's Centre, Springboard, Toronto District School Board, Toronto Employment Social Services, WoodGreen Community Services, YMCA of Greater Toronto, YWCA Girls' Centre.

Career Outlook

  • Social service worker
  • Child and youth care worker
  • Group home worker
  • Community development worker
  • Employment counsellor
  • Mental health worker
  • Community facilitator
  • Case worker
  • Family service worker
  • Community outreach worker
  • Women's shelter supervisor

Academic Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status (19 years or older)
  • English Grade 12 C or U, or equivalent (minimum grade required) or take the Centennial College English Skills Assessment for Admission

1. Apply Online

Are you an International Student? Apply directly to Centennial College here.

If you are applying through the Second Career Strategy, please apply at the Employment Training Centre for Second Career (Progress Campus). Second Career Strategy is a funding initiative for those who have been laid-off and are in need of training. For more information go to Second Career Strategy.

If you have previously attended a full time program at Centennial College, you may be eligible for a Program Transfer. Visit Enrolment Services at any Campus for information.

All other applicants must apply online at A non-refundable application fee of $95 must accompany applications. The fee is payable online, by telephone, online banking, by mail, or in person to For more information go to Application Fees.

2. Submit Documents

Current Ontario high school students and graduates from Ontario high schools: Notify your guidance counsellor that you have applied to college and your school will forward transcripts to Centennial College via

Graduates of college/university, or high school outside Ontario but within Canada: You are responsible for requesting that your educational institute sends any required documents and transcripts to

Applicants who attended school outside of Canada: If you are submitting transcripts to meet admission requirements, you must have the transcripts assessed by an independent credential assessment agency such as World Education Services (WES) or International Credential Assessment Service (ICAS).

For more information go to Submitting your Transcripts.

3. Confirm Your Offer of Admission

Offers of Admission are sent by mail to eligible applicants. When you receive your offer, you must login to your account at and confirm before the Deadline to Confirm noted in your offer letter.

You may confirm only one college and one program offer at a time.

You must confirm your offer by the Deadline to Confirm noted in your Offer of Admission letter or your seat may be given to another applicant.

When you confirm your Offer of Admission at Centennial College you are given access to your personal myCentennial account where you can check your email, grades, register for courses, pay tuition fees, and see your class timetable.

4. Pay Fees

Centennial fees statements are sent by email to your personal email account and to your myCentennial email account. Fees statements are not mailed.

You must make a minimum payment by the Fees Deadline noted in your Fees Statement or your seat may be given to another applicant.

5. Build Your Timetable (Register for Courses)

Build your timetable (web-register for courses) at

Fall registration begins mid-July
January registration begins mid-December
May registration begins mid-April

Your web-registration will not open if:

You have not submitted your minimum fee payment by the deadline
You received a Conditional Offer of Admission and you have not met the conditions of your offer.

Once you have paid your fees or have made appropriate arrangements, register for your courses online through myCentennial.

Fees noted below are estimates only. Tuition is based on two semesters.

Student Tuition (2 Semesters) Incidental Fees Total
Canadian $2,767.00 $952.00 $3,719.00
International $12,400.00 $2,147.00 $14,547.00