Social Service Worker Program in Canada Focuses on Interactive Learning

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    May 02, 2013
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Social Service Worker Program in Canada Focuses on Interactive Learning Photo by Jason White

When your field involves constant interaction with vulnerable members of society, being comfortable as soon as you enter it is essential. That's why students of Centennial College's Social Service Worker program are exposed to a variety of interactive learning opportunities, including experiences in assessing communities, developing and writing funding proposals, social action plans as well as simulated client interviews and assessments. In addition, a solid grounding of Social Service Worker theory balances all of this practical application.

If this is the type of Social Service Worker program that appeals to you, you can apply with a minimum of at least an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. Applicants are also required to have completed the compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent. Non-academic requirements such as a program admission session and English proficiency are also considered. As the Social Service Worker program has a field placement component during which students obtain "real-life" experiences, a criminal reference check might be required. Certain criminal convictions may disallow placement in an agency and program completion may not be possible.

Speaking of the Social Service Worker program work placements, they are one of the highlight features for which student are prepared with the previously mentioned training. These two placements see students work directly in the field at an entry-level social service placement in a learning environment where application and integration of the philosophy, function and procedure of the social service system takes place. Meanwhile, in school, through the previously mentioned methods, Social Service Worker students learn to reflect upon how values and ideologies contribute to the construction of social problems and prescribed solutions. They also learn to ally with people to develop and improve resources that assist people to resolve problems and enhance quality of life. Among the specific courses in the Social Service Worker program are: Power, Privilege and Oppression; Social Service Work & Pathways to Practice, Applied Social Research & Data, Social Policy, Community Development and more.

Upon graduation, students of the Social Service Worker program become professionals who are committed to social justice, inclusion and equality of people regardless of class, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation and ability.  They work in shelters, community centres, group homes and advocacy coalitions with populations that include: seniors, assaulted women and children, people with mental illness and developmental disabilities, youth and the homeless or under housed. Among the specific duties of Social Service Workers are offering guidance and counseling to people in crisis, obtaining government funds for clients, arranging foster homes for children, and beginning legal action in cases of child abuse.

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Jason describes the social service worker program in Canada at Centennial College and the possible learning outcomes that students may encounter such as work in a variety of settings, including schools and at agencies.

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