Social Work / Services

What to expect from a career as a Social Service Worker

A career in the social services field is demanding, but also extremely rewarding. In this field, you can reach out to community members in a number of areas, including health, education, corrections and, of course, social work. Social work and social services programs at Ontario colleges prepare students to work alongside professionals in those fields, providing assessment and intervention support while promoting positive interaction and connections between parties.

If you’re interested in putting your leadership, communication and problem-solving skills to work with social services training, here’s what you need to know.

Social Work and Social Services Courses

Ontario college social services programs teach practical skills, but they also focus heavily on a student’s personal development. Along with theory and development courses like social work and the legal system, professional practice, communications and intervention, students will take classes that teach self-awareness, stability and emotional endurance to help them prepare for intense situations they may face in the industry.

Role playing and lab work are also a big part of social service worker programs, as they allow students to practice their skills in a simulated real-world environment. Students will also complete a field placement component of the curriculum.

General Social Work and Social Services Program Requirements

Social work and social service programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, with a grade 12 English credit. Courses in family, society and human development are also encouraged.

Many colleges require a Police Records Check for admission to the program, and may also require specific immunizations and documents before allowing students to participate in a field placement.

Social Work and Social Services Jobs and Salaries

Many social service workers choose to specialize in child social services, in settings such as schools or youth homes. Others choose to work with adults in settings like correctional facilities or counselling centers. Career paths may include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Counselling services in schools, hospitals or group homes
  • Community services with government agencies
  • Continued education to become a social worker

Salaries in the field vary, depending on your position and level of experience. Average starting salaries are around $30,000 per year, with the potential to increase to $45,000 or more per year.

Ontario Colleges Offering Social Work and Social Services Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of social work and social services programs at Ontario colleges.

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