Social Service Worker - 215
This part-time Social Service Worker Program has been designed to meet the needs of those who wish to pursue a career as a Social Service Worker (SSW) or are already working in the field and wish to upgrade their qualifications.
This provincially-approved curriculum has been designed to develop the aptitudes, knowledge and skills SSW need to work with, and support individuals and families work through various types of challenges and enjoy more stable and fulfilling lives. Through a carefully designed program of studies that combines theory and hands-on practice in community based field placements, candidates prepare for their careers by applying their skills in a variety of competencies such as advocacy, crisis intervention, documentation, counseling and case management
This program is equivalent to the two year, full-time SSW diploma program offered at Mohawk and other community colleges. The part-time, format enables students to learn while continuing with current full-time employment and/or personal responsibilities.
OSAP Eligible. Learn about the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).
To review admission requirements for this program, and to apply, please view the Admission & Registrations tab.
Admission & Registration
- Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) OR equivalent (Mohawk Academic Upgrading, GED) OR Mature Student Status (19 years of age or older)
- All applicants who do not meet or are missing the academic eligibility requirements for this program may take a pre-admission test. The pre-admission test is done on a referral-basis only. You need to indicate on your application that you require a pre-admission test, included your date of birth, and our admissions secretary will send a referral to the testing centre for you and let you know your next steps once a referral has been made. Please do not indicate that you require a pre-admission test if you plan on submitting an original transcript.
- All applicants submitting prior academic history completed outside of Canada must provide confirmation of equivalence to an Ontario Secondary Diploma. This can be coordinated through any of the following:
- Grade 12 English, C or U or equivalent – 70% guideline
- Applicants should note that some employment opportunities require that certain physical standards must be met as a condition of employment
- Volunteer experience in a community or social services setting is strongly recommended
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Students who struggle with communication or whose first language is not English are encouraged to explore upgrading options available through our Applied Communications Centre
- These students are also encouraged to take COMM11040 instead of COMMLL041 for added understanding and support. Both meet the graduating requirements of the Program of Studies
- Computer Skills (e.g. word processing, data management, internet access)
- Students should be familiar with computers, word processing, and email based systems prior to considering this blended program (a mix of online and in class learning). To upgrade computer skills, consider a CE introductory 'Computer Basics' course or a Learning Support Workshop before applying.
Additional Requirements (for Field Placements only):
- Formal Police Clearance (Vulnerable Sector Screening) - Registered students who have been convicted of an offence under the criminal code for which they have not been pardoned may be denied the opportunity to enter placement.
- Communicable Disease Screening - Students may be required to complete various Immunizations and Disease Screening protocols required by some field placement agencies
Program of Studies
The program of studies displayed below applies to students starting the program in the 2019/20 academic year. Students who began in other academic years may require different courses to be eligible to graduate. If you have questions regarding a strategy for completion contact Continuing Education - Community Services and Support.
Registration for core courses in this program cannot be completed online. You must register in person, by mail, or by fax once your application for acceptance has been approved. View registration options for more information.
Students may begin taking open courses prior to admission into the SSW Program. Please refer to the catalogue for more information on these courses. Open registration/service courses include:
- Communication - COMMLL041, or equivalent Communications D - COMM11040
- Introductory Psychology - PSYCSS156
- Psychology of Adjustment - PSYCSS233 or equivalent World of Abnormal Psychology - PSYCSS021
- Sociology for SSWs - SSCI10047 or equivalent Sociology 1 - SSCISS108
- 2 General education electives (OPEL XXXXXX)
Visit the Mohawk College Bookstore Textbook Search (opens in new window) for information on textbooks.
Click on the course number below to check current availability and for registration information
|Course Number||Course Name||Course Description|
Develop a range of interviewing skills and techniques integral to a humanistic, client-centered approach to helping. Enhance self awareness and the purposeful use of self in the helping interview. 42 hours.
|The History & Ethics of Social Work||
Understand the ethical practice of social work through the exploration of the historical development of Social Work as a profession in Canada. Attention is given to the history of society's response to meeting human needs; the evolution of the values and ethics in the social work profession; and the process of developing a framework for identifying, analyzing and implementing ethical dimensions of practice. Equivalent to: HMNSSO128. 28 hours.
|Intro to Social Service Worker||
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the profession of social service work and to the micro, mezzo and macro levels of practice. Social service workers are committed to anti-oppressive practices and working for social justice; therefore, the course examines the social structures that influence people's lives and how various sources and forms of oppression shape individuals, families and communities. 42 hours.
|Community Awareness and Field Placement Preparation||
Prepare for real-world, field placement experiences by developing job search materials and interviewing skills. Adopt professional practice behaviours and examine community resources to use in future field placements. A prerequisite for field work. Students are expected to take this course in the year leading up to their first field placement. Blended delivery. Equivalent to: HMNS10008. 42 hours.
|Introduction to Group Dynamics||
Explore the stages of group development, communication patterns and interpersonal dynamics in small groups. Participate in small groups as a forum for exploring, communication, interpersonal dynamics and the role of an SSW. Blended delivery. 42 hours.
|Sociology for Social Service Workers||
Sociology provides insight into how society influences human behaviour. By studying the problems and social issues in society, we are able to gain a better understanding of how society affects people. This course explores various sociological perspectives and demonstrates how systematic studies are used to challenge commonsense perspectives about social life. Particular areas of study include culture, socialization, deviant behaviour, social inequality and economy. 42 hours.
|1 Communications Course (COMM11040 or COMMLL041):|
Communication is an introductory college level English course. Through a variety of assignments, successful students in this course will develop the reading, writing, critical and analytical skills essential to them as communicators in college and upon graduation. This course teaches writing through the critical reading of various fiction and non-fiction material and brings students with basic skills to college level foundational skills. 56 hours.
Develop thinking, writing, reading, speaking and listening skills with emphasis on effective written communication. 42 hours.
|COMM10260||Case Management and Documentation||
Utilize empowering casework and client support practices in the application of tasks associated with client service delivery from intake to termination. Examine principles of recording required documentation and legal implications surrounding the maintenance of the consumer case record. Blended delivery. 42 hours.
Identify the interpersonal skills which support effective interaction with co-workers, supervisors and client-consumers. Through collaboration with classmates, practice developing the skills presented and begin to integrate a professional identity, based on increased self-awareness. Last class is one hour in length. Blended delivery. 28 hours.
|HMNSSO230||SSW Advanced Interviewing Skills||
Practice fundamental skills and techniques that are used in direct practice with clients. A practical and experiential course, utilizing videotaping, role-plays, discussion and feedback. Blended delivery. Prerequisite: COMMSO226. 28 hours.
|HMNSS0232||Privilege & Oppression||
Develop an understanding of anti-oppressive practice in Social Work by looking at issues of power differentials in our society. You will begin to develop an understanding of your own social location and how that position in life influences your beliefs and actions. Blended delivery. 28 hours.
|PSYCSS156||Introduction to Psychology||
Explore the scientific study of mental processes and behaviour, including the concepts of normality and abnormality. Investigate the biological basis of human experience, sensation and perception, learning and memory, and the nature of consciousness. Examine personality theories, health and stress, and various psychological disorders, including their etiology and treatments. 42 hours.
Seminar to support the application of knowledge and skills for Field Placement 1. You MUST register for WORK10120 and WORK10121. Equivalent to: WORK10005. Prerequisite: HMNS10101 and COMMSO226. 14 hours.
|WORK10121||Field Placement 1||
Apply knowledge and skills gained in academic studies to demonstrate beginning skills in working directly with clients. Professional use of self in relation to direct work with the client will be the major area of emphasis. Demonstrate attitudes and behaviours consistent with professional expectations. You MUST register for WORK10120 and WORK10121. Equivalent to: WORK10005. Prerequisite: HMNS10101 and COMMSO226. 200 hours.
|OPELXXXXX||General Education 1 Option Table||
|HMNS10097||SSW Methods of Intervention||
Apply a strengths based approach to examine various populations in a generalist practice setting. Use different methods of intervention to develop an intervention strategy to promote change in a client's situation. Blended delivery. Equivalent to: HMNSSO431. 42 hours.
|HMNS10098||Advocacy for SSW||
Year 3 and 4. Advocacy is a key feature of anti-oppressive social service worker practice. SSW advocacy seeks to ensure that social welfare policies and programs are accessible, effective, suitable, flexible, inclusive, sufficient and competent for service users. Practical skills and strategies aimed at defending the rights of individuals, families, groups and communities are examined and practiced. Blended Delivery. 28 hours.
|HMNS10099||Working with Children & Adolescents||
This course provides students with an understanding of the needs of families with infants, children and adolescent members. Students will develop intervention strategies with a particular focus on disadvantaged families, parenting and child welfare concerns and reporting guidelines. 28 hours.
Explore the concept of psychological abnormality, the assessment methods and the classification of psychological disorders according to the DSM-5. Examine the symptomatology of these mental health issues, relevant theories (i.e., biological, cognitive, behavioural, psychodynamic and interactionist) and treatment options. 42 hours.
Seminar to support the application of knowledge and skills for Field Placement 2. You MUST register for WORK10123 and WORK10122. Equivalent to: WORK10006. Prerequisite: WORK10005 or (WORKSOA21 and WORKSOB21) or (WORK10120 and WORK10121). 14 hours.
|WORK10123||Field Placement 2||
Participate in real world learning experiences! Continue to apply knowledge and skills gained in academic studies to demonstrate an increased level of vocational knowledge, professionalism and interpersonal skills through interactions with clients and other human service workers. Demonstrate attitudes and behaviours consistent with professional expectations. You MUST register for WORK10122 and WORK10123. Equivalent to: WORK10006. Prerequisite: WORK10005 or (WORKSOA21 and WORKSOB21) or (WORK10121 and WORK10120). 200 hours.
|OPELXXXXZ||General Education 2 Option Table||
|HMNS10095||SSW Community Change||
Introduces the community change process and explains how social work organizations play a vital role in it. Emphasizes community change and the relationship between the elements of an organization and the process of change. Blended delivery. Last class will be 1 hour in length. 28 hours.
|HMNS10096||Issues Related to Family||
Understand the needs of families with infants, children and adolescent members. Develop intervention strategies with a particular focus on disadvantaged families, parenting and child welfare concerns and reporting guidelines. Identify the challenges and changes of adolescence and develop comprehensive intervention strategies to assist teenagers. Blended delivery. The final in class session will be 1 hour long. Equivalent to: HMNSSO432. 28 hours.
Provide key concepts, theories, strategies and techniques for intervention in crisis situations. Learn a model of crisis intervention for day to day use in social service work practice as well as apply techniques and strategies to specific practice situations. NOTE: Last class will only be one hour. 28 hours.
|INDS10029||Decolonizing Social Service Worker Practices||
Together we will work towards unlearning what we have been taught, and healing the pain caused by colonialism. In a safe, respectful setting, circle work will facilitate an exchange and critical analysis of ideas, on a journey, both individual and collective, to build decolonized social service work practices. 28 hours.
|LAWS10112||Social Policy & Law||
Analysis of social issues, legislation and policies is a key element of competent social service work practice. Examine social welfare legislation and policies in Canada. The impact of current social policy and legislation on various service user groups is scrutinized. Structural, critical and anti-oppressive theories form the basis of inquiry, analysis and evaluation of various social policies. Last class will be 1 hour in length. Blended delivery. 28 hours.
Seminar to support the application of knowledge and skills for Field Placement 3. You MUST register for WORK10125 and WORK10124. Equivalent to: WORK10007. Prerequisite: WORK10006 or (WORKSOC21 and WORKSOD21) or (WORK10122 and WORK10123). 14 hours.
|WORK10125||Field Placement 3||
Participate in real world learning experiences! Continue to apply knowledge and skills gained in academic studies to demonstrate an increased level of vocational knowledge, professionalism and interpersonal skills through interactions with clients and other human service workers. Demonstrate attitudes and behaviours consistent with professional expectations. You MUST register for WORK10125 and WORK10124. Equivalent to: WORK10007. Prerequisite: WORK10006 or (WORKSOC21 and WORKSOD21) or (WORK10123 and WORK10122). 200 hours.
Students are responsible for ensuring required prerequisites are completed prior to registering in subsequent courses.
As must as part-time studies enable students to work at their own pace, all students need to be aware that, as per the Program Promotion and Graduation Requirements policy, to be eligible for graduation, students are expected to demonstrate mastery of current competencies outlined in the Program of Studies applicable at the time of graduation. In cases where study has been interrupted or a Programs of Studies has been updated to reflect industry standards, the College may require a student to repeat a subject area.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Program Learning Outcomes, often referred to as ‘Program Standards', set out the essential learning that a student must achieve before being deemed ready to graduate.
In many cases these program learning outcomes were developed by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) in consultation with employers and educators who are experts in the program field. To ensure the outcomes remain current and in line with industry needs, we invite our employers, graduates working in the field and current students to re-examine and update them during regular, ongoing program review focus groups.
The Social Service Worker Diploma program can lead to exciting career opportunities!
Industries of Employment
- Community Agencies
- Ontario Works and Ontario Government
- Recovery Homes, Residential, and Community Mental Health Services
- Addiction Services
- Youth, Seniors and Women's Shelters
- Social Service Workers
- Mental Health Workers
- Case Managers
- Employment Counsellors
- Community Workers
Graduates of the Social Service Worker Diploma program may also be interested in Degree Transfer or Post-Graduate opportunities! Research these opportunities here.