Ontario College Diploma in Social Service Worker Curriculum
Vocational Learning Outcomes
- Develop and maintain professional relationships which 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, and/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, supporting 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.
Courses and Descriptions
Communications I is an introductory course that provides a foundation in college-level communications by teaching students to read critically, write appropriately for a variety of audiences, conduct and cite research, and revise for clarity and correctness. In seminars and labs, students will engage in both independent and collaborative activities, including the development of a digital portfolio designed to help them become more effective communicators in academic and professional environments.
This course provides students with an overview of introductory theories and skills used in the helping profession. As a foundation for the next two levels of counseling-specific courses students will be introduced to a range of collaborative practices and communication techniques with an emphasis on the person centered approach. Students will apply a strength based perspective that focuses on strengths, supports, resilience, capacity for personal responsibility, self-advocacy and positive change. Additionally, students will evaluate their own strengths and challenges that impact upon their roles in the helping profession through an exploration of self and an understanding of transference and countertransference. Students will be required to demonstrate practical applications of skills through experiential activities.
This course introduces students to the scope and practice of social service work and the field of addiction and mental health. Students will examine models of understanding people?s experiences using an anti-oppressive framework. Students will learn different models, theories and interventions and understand the relationship between autonomy, self-determination, resilience and recovery. Emphasis will be placed on the standards of practice and competencies required to work in the field.
This course provides a foundational knowledge of signs, symptoms and prevalence of mental illness including factors that contribute to mental health issues. Students will analyze legislation and policies that guide recovery oriented practice and service delivery in mental health. Students will be provided an opportunity to promote a positive approach to mental health problems and mental illness while challenging stigma and discrimination. Case studies will provide the opportunity to apply recovery oriented practices.
This course will provide the foundation for understanding social, economic, cultural, spiritual, racial and political issues within the context of social justice and diversity. Students will be introduced to theories and practical applications that affirm the value and worth of all individuals, families, groups and communities by applying practical skills to enhance cultural safety in service delivery. Students will critically analyze the various forms of oppression, discrimination, power and privilege, and how to apply anti-oppressive practices in the field of human services.
This course prepares students to use technology efficiently and effectively in college and workplace environments. Topics include Windows 10, Microsoft Office 365 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook), myCampus Portal, D2L, Internet, file management, collaboration tools, LinkedIn, and various social media platforms as they relate to professionalism in the field of Human Services. Course content is delivered through in-class labs using lecture, guided instruction, discussions, and hands-on activities, and through online self-directed learning (SDL) tutorials, articles and activities. Students will improve their technology skills and build a professional online image.
Human development across the lifespan will be studied by exploring the interrelationship between biological, psychological and sociocultural influences from conception to end of life. Upon completion of the course, learners will have an understanding of individual development, in addition to the impact of lifespan development on families and communities. Learners will have the opportunity to follow an individual's development throughout the lifespan, using a variety of biopsychosocial factors.
This course is an introduction to the study of Indigenous (First Nations, Metis, and Inuit) peoples in Canada. Students will explore the complex historical and contemporary relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. The course will also guide students to begin to understand the diversity and depth of Indigenous societies, worldviews, and knowledge through a multi-disciplinary lens.
This course focuses on case management skills used in the field of social service work and addiction and mental health. Students will learn to identify strengths, resources and challenges of individuals, families, group and communities to assist them in achieving their goals. Students will discern how case management is related to screening, assessment and treatment planning and will demonstrate the ability to collaborate and advocate for appropriate resources to assist individuals, families, group and communities. Through case simulation, students will assume the role and responsibilities of a case manager which include information gathering, assessment, intake interviewing, service planning, case monitoring, documentation, advocacy and being a social change agent.
- Counselling Interventions I (COUN 55)
- Foundations in Human Services (COUN 117)
- Mental Health & Recovery (COUN 118)
- Power, Privilege and Oppression (SOCI 165)
Building on the skills acquired from Counselling Interventions 1, this course is aimed at empowering client centered change through the application of the Trans theoretical Model, Motivational Interviewing, and Solution Focused Counselling. Students will apply recovery-oriented reflective practice. Students will demonstrate skills through role playing, digital recording and application of counselling techniques using case studies.
Students will learn to record all client and related professional interactions in an objective, culturally competent and accurate manner that reflects organizational protocols, established regulatory practices and record keeping guidelines. Through practical application, students will document all interventions clearly, accurately, and concisely using a strength-based framework. Students will understand how to obtain informed consent and boundaries of confidentiality in exchanging information.
This course introduces students to ethical principles, concepts and practices related to the field of human services. Students will learn to develop and maintain professional relationships which adhere to professional, legal and ethical standards aligned to the field of social service work and mental health and addictions. Students will apply the principles and values of integrity, competence, responsibility, respect and trust to safeguard both self and others. Through practical application, students will learn to maintain confidentiality of information in accordance with professional, legal and ethical standards of practice and organizational requirements.
Students will understand the intergenerational impact of colonization and assimilation policies have had on the mental wellness of First Nations peoples. Trauma must be understood within the context of their collective history of colonization, oppression and assault on cultural ways of living. Students will increase their knowledge of individual experience, meaning and consequences of trauma from the perspective of group and intergenerational trauma within First Nations communities. Emphasis will be placed on core concepts from First Nations cultures, including a spirit-centered worldview, connection to land/creation, connection to ancestors along the path of life continuum as language as the "voice" of culture. An indigenous understanding of wellness supports recovery-oriented practice for First Nations, Inuit and Metis in the context of distinct cultures, rights and circumstances.
The course examines the history of the development of social work in the context of legislation and policy in Canada. This course examines the impact of economic, labour, employment and trade practices on the development of social welfare services in Canada. Students will apply legislation and social welfare policy to marginalized groups. Emphasis will be placed on issues of poverty and inequality as well as the development of income security.
This course focuses on understanding the key determinants of health, the continuum of health promotion and prevention and the role outreach services within the substance use and mental health field. There will be an emphasis on holistic outreach for marginalized and underserviced groups through promotion of cultural inclusion. Students will conduct a needs assessment, develop, implement and evaluate a prevention and health promotion program. Students will create a program proposal that will include: research, data collection, a work plan, a logic model and a budget.
This course prepares students to build a competency portfolio identifying the application of skills, values and knowledge as it relates to industry and regulatory standards, scope of practice and to prepare for field placement in their respective fields. Students will develop professional practice strategies and plans that lead to the promotion of self-care and employment readiness. Students will have the opportunity to self-assess values, skills and knowledge to determine field readiness and establish goals for professional development including potential field placement opportunities.
This course will introduce students to various forms of abuse experienced by individuals and families across the life cycle including an emphasis on child, partner and elder maltreatment. Students will learn how to identify, recognize, and professionally respond to the effects of violence and maltreatment. Students will apply anti-oppressive practice to the screening, assessing, reporting, advocacy and intervention for individuals and families. Students will gain practical experience through case studies of how to work with individuals and families impacted by violence and maltreatment.
Using culturally appropriate practices with Indigenous communities, students will learn to identify community resources and needs in order to generate collaborate solutions to community challenges using collective action. Demonstrating an Indigenous wellness approach, students will participate in community development activities that target mental health and substance use issues and engage individuals, families and the community. Students will be required to demonstrate how to engage a community, complete a community needs assessment and an asset map to create solutions that build capacity in communities. Emphasis will be placed on inclusion, equality, equity and participation in decision-making.
Building on Counselling Interventions 1 and II, this course examines theories and interventions of evidence informed approaches including: Crisis Theory and Interventions, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and Interpersonal Therapy. Students will demonstrate skills through role playing, digital recording and application of counselling techniques using case studies. Students will be required to engage in self-analysis to recognize personal or professional limitations that may impede ability to work constructively with clients.
Theories and models of group intervention will be explored with special emphasis on developmental stages of group and their application to work in the field of human services. This course provides students with an opportunity to develop group facilitation and leadership skills. Students will be provided with an experiential learning opportunity by participating in an authentic group process to integrate theory with practice. The integration of theories and models of group intervention will be demonstrated by students researching, designing and developing a psychoeducational group proposal.
This course continues to build on the content covered in Professional Practice I. Students will research field placement settings, compile a learning plan, and finalize their competency portfolio which will be used in the selection and matching of field placement. Students will be required to successfully set up a professional practice experience through negotiating appropriate field practice responsibilities, practicing behavioural based interviews and adhering to field placement protocols including administrative requirements. Emphasis will be placed on professionalism in the workplace which includes: cultural competence, self-care, teamwork and cooperation, continuous learning, interpersonal rapport, adaptability and flexibility, analytical thinking and decision making, self-management, self-motivation and drive, planning and organizing.
Through an experiential learning approach, students will explore how to incorporate Indigenous healing methods in social service work practice. Students will be exposed to different traditional healing methods within Indigenous cultures including the use of medicines, ceremonies, sharing circles, and traditional healers to achieve spiritual, mental, physical and emotional balance. Students will have the opportunity to integrate traditional healing practices with western models of intervention through case study application.
Canada's aging population provides both opportunities and challenges. This will unfold in the understanding and appreciation of new and increasing demands upon areas such as: community resources, healthcare and retirement while providing opportunities to consider skills and abilities, areas of interest and unique approaches to what it is to be an older adult. How do we, as emerging professionals, understand and respond to the challenges, opportunities and demands? The intention of this course is to consider these questions from a theoretical perspective, as well as experientially, as learners relationship build with older adults.
All graduates of diploma programs require general education credits. These courses allow you to explore issues of societal concern by looking at the history, theory and contemporary applications of those issues.
Your program has designated some required general education courses. In addition, you have the opportunity to choose from a list of electives each semester.
Many of these courses and some other general education courses are also available through evening classes, by distance education, or on-line. See our Part-Time Studies Calendar for these opportunities.
You may already possess general education equivalencies from other colleges or universities. Please see the General Education Co-ordinators at the Peterborough and Lindsay locations for possible exemptions.
In order to obtain the Indigenous Perspectives Designation, students must choose GNED128 as their Gen Ed Elective.
This professional field placement provides students with practical, integrated learning experiences and a body of knowledge related to the promotion of human well-being and the affirmation of strengths and capacities of people in their environments. Students will be required to maintain relationships which adhere to cultural competencies, legal, ethical and professional standards. Using an Anti-Oppressive framework, students will have the opportunity to work with individuals, families, groups, and communities in identifying and mobilizing resources to facilitate opportunities for positive change inclusive of Indigenous and traditional approaches to healing.
- Communications I (COMM 201)
- Introductory Computing (COMP 345)
- Foundations in Human Services (COUN 117)
- Mental Health & Recovery (COUN 118)
- Power, Privilege and Oppression (SOCI 165)
- Counselling Interventions I (COUN 55)
- Introduction to Indigenous Studies (GNED 49)
- Professional Practice I (COUN 120)
- Case Management and Service Coordination (COUN 121)
- Documentation and Record Keeping in Human Services (COUN 119)
- Ethics and Professional Practice (COUN 122)
- Counselling Interventions II (COUN 123)
- Prevention and Health Promotion (COUN 124)
- Intergenerational Trauma (COUN 125)
- Introduction to Social Welfare (COUN 56)
- Working with the Older Adult (COUN 113)
- Professional Practice II (COUN 126)
- Counselling Interventions III (COUN 127)
- Group Theory: Models and Dynamics (COUN 128)
- Building Capacity in Communities (COUN 129)
- Traditional Healing Practices (COUN 130)
- Abuse Across the Lifespan (COUN 131)