Social Service Worker

Social Service Worker

Two Years, Ontario College Diploma
Program Code 0123
Welland Campus

The information on this page applies to the Fall 2015 intake term, unless otherwise noted.

Program Status

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Admission Requirements
Sept. 2015 to May 2016

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, including the following required courses:

  • English - any Grade 12 (C) or (U), or equivalent.

Recommended Courses and/or Recommended Skills (Not Required for Admission):

  • Introduction to Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology–Grade 11 (M)
  • Healthy Active Living Education–Grade 12 (O)
  • Challenge and Change in Society–Grade 12 (M)
  • Managing Personal and Family Resources–Grade 11 (C)
  • Individuals and Families in a Diverse Society–Grade 12 (M)
  • Issues in Human Growth and Development–Grade 12 (M)
  • World Religions–Grade 11 (M)
  • Related volunteer or cooperative work experience

Additional Requirements for Admission:

Selection and Ranking Process:

For competitive programs (the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of available places), selection will be based on the most senior level final grade available at the time of ranking. Mid-term grades are not used for ranking purposes. Testing or other supplemental evaluation may be required.

This program has additional requirements .

Career Opportunities

A desire to help people is only the beginning. To succeed in social services, you also need basic knowledge and skills as well as guiding values. This program will equip you on all fronts.

Graduates may serve:

  • Persons who have been victims of violence or abuse
  • Persons with developmental and/or physical disabilities
  • Seniors and their families
  • Unemployed persons
  • Youths

Opportunities for graduates include:

  • Addictions treatment
  • Corrections
  • Mental health and wellness enhancement
  • Immigration and refugee settlement
  • Income assistance

The NC Difference

  • Specialized degree pathways in collaboration with Niagara University
  • Students receive more than 650 hours of hands-on experience
  • Program Outline integrates intensive field experiences with sound academic training
  • Case studies, videotape simulations and small group discussions enhance learning
  • Program responds to changes in the social services field
  • Field placements often lead to employment
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The confidence and real-world experience I gained through this program enabled me to obtain full-time employment at the Niagara Falls Employment Help Centre even before I had my diploma in hand! Thank you, Niagara College. Amy Shelton, Social Service Worker graduate
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Projects And Features

SSW Field Placement Videos:

These video clips provide a brief overview of potential field placement experiences.

The following video clips are available for download in Quicktime 7 Format. Get QuickTime 7.


Those without a Broadband Internet connection may wish to right click the following links and choose Save Target in order to save the video to your local computer for offline viewing.

Students In Action Photos

SSW Students lending a hand at a community soup kitchen SSW Students lending a hand at a community soup kitchen
SSW Students taking part in the Aids Niagara Walk SSW Students taking part in the Aids Niagara Walk


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Degree Options

Niagara College maintains articulation/transfer agreements with other colleges and universities within Ontario, the rest of Canada, and Internationally. To see if there are any agreements available for this program, please visit the Articulation Agreement website. Credit Transfer Options

Some post-secondary credits can be transferred into any NC program.
Find out more!


Interested in completing your Bachelor of Social Work degree?

Check out the options for Niagara College Social Service Worker graduates!

For More Information

For general inquiries or information about this program please use our AskNC Knowledgebase or email the InfoCentre at

Take a Tour

Take a guided tour of our campus or campuses! Register online or book over the phone:

Welland: 905-735-2211, ext. 7559
Niagara-on-the-Lake: 905-641-2252, ext. 4208

Can't make it to the campus?

No problem! Take our Virtual Tour and experience a guided walk-through from the comfort of your own home.

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Additional Program Requirements

Professional Responsibility:

A significant number of field placements in the social services field require students to be at least 19 years of age in order to assume a beginning level of professional responsibility. The professional responsibility applies to matters identified in the Code of Ethics of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. The code describes a social worker’s responsibilities related to confidentiality, conflict of interest, personal boundaries and other areas. The code is available at Those who are below 19 years of age could have their field placement options limited, which in turn could delay graduation.

Criminal Reference Check (CRC):

  • Most employers have instituted a CRC with vulnerable sector screening as a requirement for appropriate field placements. The CRC will be required at the beginning of term 2. All costs associated with the CRC are the responsibility of the student.
  • Note: Students with criminal charges or convictions will be severely limited in placement and/or employment opportunities.Those with criminal charges impending or an uncleared criminal record (criminal convictions must be pardoned, sealed or expunged) are not eligible for a field placement experience.


Students are responsible for their own transportation in order to complete field placement requirements. Niagara cannot guarantee placements that are readily accessible by public transportation. Also, many of our placements require students to visit clients at home or in various locations to carry out their placement work. Therefore, provision of transportation for work placement will require access to a private vehicle. Students are responsible for all costs connected with such transportation.

Health Requirement:

  • The confidential Communicable Disease Surveillance form must be completed and submitted to Student Health Services priorto the start of the program. Please view the current CDS form and Checklist for requirements (vaccination documentation/proof of immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, and 2 step TB testing) at
  • Influenza, hepatitis B, tetanus diphtheria pertussis vaccinations are recommended.
  • All health requirements must be met or a placement will be denied.
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Term One (2015 Fall)
Course CodeCourse NameUnits
CAPL1199Computer Applications3
COMM1133Writing Strategies3
SOCL1430Multiculturalism and Diversity in Canada3
SOWK1100Methods I (Case Work)4
SOWK1102Community Orientation and Practice Issues2
SOWK1103Methods I (Group Work)4
SOWK1105Social Services I3
Term Two (2016 Winter)
Course CodeCourse NameUnits
SOWK1200Methods II (Case Work)4
SOWK1202Practice Integration and Issues I3
SOWK1203Methods II (Group Work and Research)3
SOWK1205Social Services II4
PRAC1202Field Placement I - Social Service Worker5

Completion of additional General Education elective (1 course required)

Term Three (2016 Fall)
Course CodeCourse NameUnits
COMM1224Communications and Report Writing3
SOWK1302Practice Integration and Issues II3
SOWK1303Methods III (Group Work and Community Organization)4
SOWK1305Social Services III3
SOWK1306Methods III - Theory2
SOWK1307Casework Video Recording and Review2
PRAC1302Field Placement II - Social Service Worker4
Term Four (2017 Winter)
Course CodeCourse NameUnits
SOWK1400Methods IV (Case Work)3
SOWK1401Social Services IV2
SOWK1402Practice Integration and Issues III3
SOWK1404Leadership in the Workplace3
PRAC1402Field Placement III - Social Service Worker6

January Start Students

Students who begin the program in January 2016 complete Term 2 of the program during the Spring Term beginning in May 2016 and running into summer months.

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