Social Service Worker

Program Details

  • Program Code:1203
  • School:School of Community and Health Studies
  • Credential:Diploma
  • Program Type:Post-secondary program
  • Program Length:2 years/ 4 semesters

Program Availability

Domestic Availability
International Availability

Program Overview

Program Overview

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The Centennial College 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 college diploma program integrates the principles, philosophies, skills and theories of social service work 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).

Please note: This program is taught using a combination of modalities. Courses may be taught face-to-face, online or in a blended/hybrid combination of both online and traditional classroom teaching.

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 and 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.
  • 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, such as Early Childhood Education, Police Foundations,Community and Justice Services and Nursing.

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 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

Program Outline

Program Outline

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Career Options, Academic Pathways and Partners

Career Options, Academic Pathways and Partners

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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, among others.

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
  • Trent 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, among many others.

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

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

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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

Additional Requirements

Semester Requirements

A C Grade is required in all core courses as well as COMM-160/161 and COMM-170/171.

How to Apply

How to Apply

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1. Apply Online

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.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and Fees

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Fees noted below are estimates only. Tuition is based on two semesters, beginning Fall 2018.

Student Tuition (2 Semesters) Incidental Fees Total
Canadian $3,023.50 $1,178.00 $4,201.50
International $14,080.00 $2,346.00 $16,426.00

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