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Program Details

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

Program Overview

Program Overview

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The Centennial College Social Service Worker program will prepare 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 Social Service Worker student, you'll develop the knowledge, skills and values to support diverse individuals, families, groups and communities to enhance their individual and collective well being. 

This two-year college diploma program will integrate 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, interprofessional practice, interpersonal communication, counselling, community development, advocacy, social movements and social policies will be examined. Through critical thinking and reflective practice, meanwhile, you'll identify how values and ideologies contribute to the construction of social problems and solutions.

As a graduate of the Social Service Worker program, you'll 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 delivered 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 members are all trained in social service work and social work practice, and have extensive knowledge, expertise and field experience.
  • During your two years in the program, you'll have the opportunity to obtain a Stackable Certificate in Indigenous Studies: First Peoples in Canada
  • Two specialized field placements will provide you with valuable opportunities 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 (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'll have the opportunity to apply for an international field placement in your final semester. The program has a history of strong partnerships with global organizations.
  • Learning experiences will include community engagement, developing and writing funding proposals, social action plans as well as simulated client interviews and assessments.
  • You'll 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 respectful and collaborative professional and interpersonal relationships that adhere to professional, legal and ethical standards aligned to social service work;
  • Accurately record information and effectively communicate in written, digital, verbal and nonverbal ways, in adherence to privacy and freedom of information legislation, and in accordance with professional and workplace standards;
  • 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;
  • 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.
  • Examine current social policy, relevant legislation, and political, social, historical, and/or economic systems and their impacts for individuals and communities when delivering services;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Develop strategies and approaches to implement and maintain holistic self-care as a member of a human service profession;
  • 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, co-workers and communities;
  • Develop the capacity to work with Indigenous individuals, 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.

Global Citizenship and Equity Portfolio

You'll develop a portfolio documenting your engagement with the College's signature Global Citizenship and Equity (GC&E) competencies. For more information on GC&E, the GC&E Portfolio and the supports available to you, please visit www.centennialcollege.ca/citizenshipandequity.

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.

Articulation Agreements

Successful graduates of the Social Service Worker program have the opportunity to apply their credits towards further study at the degree level.

Listed below are the degrees from partnering institutions that are available for this program. Please note that each partnership has a specific minimum grade requirement in order to qualify for transferring credits, which are assessed by the partner institution.

Partner Institution Degree
Algonquin College Social Service Worker, 2 year
Athabasca University Bachelor of Professional Arts - Human Services Diploma
Brock University Honours Bachelor of Arts - Psychology
Honours Bachelor of Arts - Women's Studies
Cambrian College Social Service Worker, 2 year
Canadore College Social Service Worker, 2 year
Carleton University Honours Bachelor of Arts -  Arts, Fine Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Bachelor of Social Work
Conestoga College Bachelor of Community and Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Early  Learning Program Development
Davenport University Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration
Griffith University Bachelor of Human Services
Bachelor of Social Work
Guelph-Humber, University of Honours Bachelor of Applied Science - Family and Community Social Services
Institute of Technology, Carlow Honours Bachelor of Arts - Applied Social Studies - Professional Social Care 
Institute of Technology, Tralee Honours Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice Studies 
Lakehead University Bachelor of Social Work
Laurentian University Bachelor of Social Work - Native Human Services
Bachelor of Arts - Gerentology
Bachelor of Social Work
Ryerson University Bachelor of Social Work
Trent University Bachelor of Social Work
University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Honours Bachelor of Arts - Forensic Psychology
Honours Bachelor of Arts - Community Development and Policy Studies (Bridge)
Honours Bachelor of Arts - Legal Studies
Waterford Institute of Technology Honours Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice Studies
Wilfrid Laurier University Bachelor of Social Work
Windsor, University of Bachelor of Arts, multiple majors
York University, Glendon College Bachelor of Arts - Psychology, Sociology or any Bachelor of Arts Degree

Please visit our website at www.centennialcollege.ca/admissions/applying/education-pathways/outbound-pathways for more information on articulation agreements.

Social Service Worker, 2 year

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 www.ocswssw.org.

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 Ontariocolleges.ca. 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 Ontariocolleges.ca. For more information go to Ontariocolleges.ca 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 Ontariocolleges.ca.

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 Ontariocolleges.ca.

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 Ontariocolleges.ca 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 my.centennialcollege.ca.

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 2019.

Student Tuition (2 Semesters) Ancillary Fees Total
Canadian $2,721.00 $1,178.00 $3,899.00
International $14,502.50 $1,687.00 $16,189.50

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