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Ontario College Diploma | 4 semesters | Barrydowne

Learn to help vulnerable or at-risk individuals, families, and groups deal with various personal and social problems through engaging fieldwork and in-depth casework. As a Social Service Worker student, you'll learn to be an effective communicator and understanding counselor in order to encourage positive change in the lives of clients.

You will be challenged to bring a special level of maturity and motivation to your work, along with a commitment to work for social justice, a fundamental belief in the dignity and potential of people, and a desire to promote justice, equality, and access to culturally-appropriate services regardless of race, gender, age, religion, etc.

Cambrian's program is recognized by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, which allows you to apply to become a Registered Social Service Worker in Ontario when you graduate.

Program Highlights

  • 2 years – 4 semesters

  • 2 placements

  • Dynamic course delivery that includes experiential learning, case studies, theoretical concepts, and real-world experience.

  • Hands on learning with many opportunities to observe and practice skills.


Students who meet the requirements, will have the opportunity to complete a community placement.  Students will be responsible for any expenses incurred related to placement, such as Paramed consultation, transportation, meals and accommodations.

Agencies will require students to have additional medical and non-medical documents prior to the completion of any community based placement.  Paramed will be responsible for the coordination of the required documentation in consultation with the students.

Required documentation includes:

  • Criminal Records Check - Vulnerable Sector Screening
  • Health documentation (up-to-date immunization, Two-step TB test, freedom for communicable disease)
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Field certifications - Bill 18 requirements

Registration to Practice

Persons who wish to use the title Social Service Worker or Registered Social Service Worker must be registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Generally, graduates who have obtained a two-year college diploma in social service work from a College of Applied Arts and Technology qualify for registration. It is the responsibility of the graduate to register with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

Quick Links

How to Apply

Community Services

Admission Requirements

For graduates of the new curriculum (OSS): Ontario Secondary School Diploma (30 credits) or equivalent or mature student status, including:

  • Any grade 12 English (C) or (U)


  • Computer competency in relevant software

Additional Requirements

  • First Aid Certificate prior to field placement

  • Criminal record check completed at least one month prior to field placement.

  • Two-step TB test and flu shot (for some placements)


Program Delivery


This program will be delivered in the following terms:

Fall Term Start

  1. SEMESTER 1 Fall 2021
  2. SEMESTER 2 Winter 2022
  3. SEMESTER 3 Fall 2022
  4. SEMESTER 4 Winter 2023

For specific term start/end dates and other key dates/deadlines, please see the Academic Schedule on our website.

Program of Study for 2021-22 Academic Year

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Credits
ENG 1002 College Communications 3
PSY 1050 Introduction To Psychology I 3
WES 1001 Communication in Small Groups I 3
WES 1110 Social Work Practice I 4
WES 1115 Social Services I 3
IND 1003 Introduction to Indigenous Studies 3
One General Education Course. 1 3
Semester 2
ENG 1242 Speaking/Writing Comm. Services I 3
WES 1210 Social Work Practice II 4
WES 2330 Family Dynamics 3
WES 1240 Communication in Small Groups II 3
WES 1295 Field Work I 2
One General Education courses: 1 3
Semester 3
WES 1251 Ethics 3
WES 1215 Social Services II 3
WES 2052 Recording & Observation 3
WES 2320 Group Dynamics 3
WES 2310 Social Work Practice III 4
One General Education course. 1 3
Semester 4
WES 2490 Field Work II 20
 Total Credits79


Tuition and Ancillary Fees

Please see our fees page for the breakdown of tuition and mandatory ancillary fees by program and semester for both domestic and international students.

Books & Supplies

The cost of books and supplies for Year 1 is approximately $1,500. This is the best information available at the time of publishing to the website and is subject to change.

Graduate Options

Employment Opportunities

Graduates may seek employment for casework and counselling positions within:

  • Social agencies of the municipal, provincial, and federal governments
  • Non-government services and agencies
  • Charitable organizations
  •  Group homes
  • Half-way houses
  • Long term care and retirement homes
  • Addiction and Mental Health Agencies
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Homelessness/Poverty and Housing
  • Children, Youth and Families.

College/University Degree Opportunities

Graduates from this program may continue their studies at college/university and may receive credit for their prior College education.

Refer to College/University Agreements for further information.

Please note: Cambrian College strives to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website. Please note that the academic curriculum is continually reviewed and revised to ensure that Cambrian's programs and courses remain relevant. The College reserves the right to cancel or make changes to any course or program, fee, procedure, or campus location at any time.

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