Social Service Worker

The Social Services Worker program is a two-year Ontario College Diploma. Students will learn human behaviour and psychology, individual and social problems, and proven social techniques. Graduates will enter this competitive field with the necessary practical skills and hands-on experience to begin a career within private or public social agencies and programs.

Overview

If your default setting is compassion, your natural inclination is to help and you want to offer support in the face of adversity, the Social Service Worker program will give you the education and skills you need to make your empathy make a true difference in the lives of people who need it.

In this social work program, you will build a sound knowledge of human behaviour and psychology, individual and social problems, and learn proven techniques to prepare you for social service work in social agencies and social welfare programs.

You’ll work with supportive, friendly and experienced faculty and advisors who are committed to help you succeed, and you’ll take part in role-plays, counselling labs and case studies, and take in presentations from professional social workers and clients. You’ll gain invaluable experience in a variety of field placements in London, with its extensive social service and health community resources.

Social work is a competitive field. You’ll graduate with practical skills and hands-on experience that will help you work in this in-demand field, whether it’s in public or private social agencies and social welfare programs. You see the need. You see the problems. You can help.

Program Overview

This two-year Social Service Worker program is designed to prepare students for basic social work practice in social agencies and social welfare programs, both public and private, by providing them with a sound knowledge of human behaviour, of individual and social problems and of the necessary helping techniques and skills.

  • Applicants applying from secondary school are encouraged to consider applying to the Human Services Foundation program
  • Due to the nature of social service work and employer requirements, students with significant social maturity and life experience are encouraged to apply.  
  • Social Service Worker is a registered professional title that may only legally be used by members in good standing of The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Graduates of the Social Service Worker program will be required by law to join the College after graduation in order to use this professional title.
  • Students who graduate from this program and wish to transfer to another Community Studies program at Fanshawe College may qualify for some internal credits that have already been achieved.

Campus Locations & Intakes

This program is offered at our London Campus in September and the Simcoe Campus in September, January and May to both Canadian and International students. Please refer to the Program Availability table below to view which location and intake has available seats.

 

Career Information

Graduates of Fanshawe’s Social Service Worker program have found employment in many settings from group homes and shelters to health care clinics and youth programs. as well as a wide variety of other social agencies and government departments. The search for social work positions is competitive and the graduate must be prepared to search diligently on his/her own behalf. Additional job search assistance is provided by the College's Career Services Department.

 

Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s Social Service Worker program:

Mental Health Worker
Provide short-term support to ensure the safety of individuals in need, encouraging empowerment and crisis resolution while maintaining a calm and respectful environment.

Caseworker
Respond to inquiries providing program information to a diverse clientele, the public, advocacy groups and agencies.

Youth Shelter Team Leader

Provide leadership while overseeing activities of the shelter, including case management, recruitment and selection, professional development and monthly statistical reporting.

 

Photo of Beth Anne Hill

The SSW program helped teach me important skills you need when entering the workforce; working independently as well as a contributing team member, putting your biases aside and maintaining professionalism, deadlines and expectations.

Beth Anne Hill
Graduate, Social Service Worker
Learning Outcomes

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 work;
  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.

 

Program Availability

Canadian Students

Start Dates
Locations
Availability

Full Time Offerings

2022 September
Simcoe
Open
2023 January
Simcoe
Open
2023 May
Simcoe
Open

International Students

Start Dates
Locations
Availability

Full Time Offerings

2023 May
Simcoe
Open

Program Details

Program Code
SSW1

Program Coordinators:

London Campus:

Robert Owens

Simcoe/Norfolk Regional Campus:

Larry Cavan

Delivery
Day Time
Full-Time
Credential
Ontario College Diploma
Duration
60 weeks

Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U),
University/College (M), or Open (O) stream WITH:
- Any Grade 12 English (C) or (U)
OR
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE) 
OR
Human Services Foundation Ontario College Certificate*
(Note: minimum final average required is 2.0 GPA) AND:
- standing in the required course stated above
OR
General Arts and Science Ontario College Certificate**
(Note: minimum final average required is 2.0 GPA) AND:
- standing in the required course stated above
OR
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED)
OR
Mature Applicant with standing in the required course stated above

Competitive Programs

This is a competitive program; the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of seats available. Please see www.fanshawec.ca/hcp for details. 

English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 70% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 8, 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9, or 70% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10
Recommended Academic Preparation

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Grade 12 Healthy Active Living Education (O) 
  • Grade 12 Challenge and Change in Society (U) 
  • Grade 11 Dynamics of Human Relationships (O) 
  • Grade 12 Families in Canada (C) or (U) 
  • Grade 12 Human Development Throughout the Lifespan (M)
Recommended Personal Preparation

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Development of personal responsibility and leadership traits by the participation in school and other organizations which involve working with people and by summer employment of any kind 
  • Work or volunteer experience in the social service field is strongly recommended
Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements
Note:
  • Admission to the Fanshawe College Human Services Foundation program does not guarantee admission in a subsequent year to the Social Service Worker program. Successful completion of the Fanshawe College Human Services Foundation program, however, does enable the student to be given additional consideration when applying to the Social Service Worker program. The Human Services Foundation program is the preferred designated preparatory program for admission to the Social Service Worker program.
  • *Students who are currently registered in the Human Services Foundation program at Fanshawe College or at any Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology must successfully complete their Human Services Foundation Ontario College Certificate with a minimum 2.0 GPA by April 30, 2022 and meet the academic pre-requisite course for the Social Service Worker program in order to be eligible for admission consideration in the immediately following academic year to the Social Service Worker program.
  • **Students who are currently registered in the General Arts and Science program at Fanshawe College or at any Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology must successfully complete their General Arts and Science Ontario College Certificate with a minimum 2.0 GPA by April 30, 2022 and meet the academic pre-requisite course for the Social Service Worker program in order to be eligible for admission consideration in the immediately following academic year to the Social Service Worker program.
Post-Admission Requirements

Post-Admission Requirements

The following items are applicable to the program and are time sensitive.  Please refer to www.fanshawec.ca/preplacement for important information about preparing for placement by the due date.

  • Possession of a Standard First Aid course certificate (either St. John Ambulance or Canadian Red Cross or equivalent) and a Basic Rescuer course certificate (Level "C" CPR)
  • Evidence of Good Health
  • Police Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening, including a check of the Pardoned Sexual Offenders Database
  • Placement Agreement
More Information

More info about post-admission requirements:

London Campus

Simcoe/Norfolk Regional

Tuition Summary

London

Canadian Costs
$7,006.64
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
$30,499.60
Total Cost of Program

Simcoe

Canadian Costs
$6,470.92
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
$29,963.88
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.

 

Courses

Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:

Group 1
WRIT-1094Reason & Writing 1 for Community Studies3
This course will introduce Community Studies students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
BSCI-1247Group Development & Practice3
Group Development and Practice is designed as an experiential learning opportunity aimed at developing students' knowledge and understanding of human behaviours within groups, with a focus on the role of 'self' in group dynamics and processes. Students will learn and apply Prosocial Theory Core Design Principles to develop skills related to effective individual and group functioning in essential areas such as; communication, decision making, and conflict resolution.
SOCW-1057Foundation to Community Building2
This course will provide the student with an introduction to community resources and capacity building and apply that knowledge through a community mapping project. Students will learn about the diversity of resources that make up a community through exploration of; Individual Capacities/Assets, Local Associations & Organizations, and Local Institutions. Through the community mapping experience, students will be able to identify local resources & services, recognizing the strengths/assets, challenges/gaps and the impact on individuals, families, and neighbourhoods which they will present to their class bringing awareness of the resources throughout the local community. Students will also become familiar with the SSW Program Manual expectations & requirements through review of the SSW Program Manual.
SOCW-1058Social Welfare Systems3
This course is designed as an introduction to present Social Service and Welfare Policy in Canada. It will investigate the social, legal and humanitarian origins of social policy and the implications for social service work will be examined. Federal, provincial and municipal statutes, regulations, policies and practices will be considered and analyzed. This course will also examine service delivery models, funding issues as well as demographic and legislative trends that have an impact on social policy.
SOCI-1006Sociology for Social Service Workers3
This course introduces students to the basic sociological concepts and major perspectives as a means of understanding society and social issues. The course will acquaint students with the social processes of socialization, social interaction, collective behaviour, social and cultural change, social stratification, and deviance and social control. Finally, the course will lay a foundation for evaluating and conducting research on current social issues.
PSYC-1130Psychology for Social Service Workers3
This course will introduce the student to classic theories of personality and various approaches to understanding personality development. Students will explore how to apply theories of personality to explain various aspects of human behavior and learn how different approaches are applied in the Social Work/Social Service Worker field.
View all courses

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