Social Service & Addiction Mental Health Worker Dual Diploma

Post-Secondary Programs
Credential Earned: College Diploma (2 Year)
Campus: Distance
Program Length: 6 Semesters

Program Codes
A007D/A151D

Social Service Workers (SSW) and Addiction and Mental Health Workers (AMHW) provide support and services to individuals, families/kin and groups who are experiencing stressful events in their lives, impacted by addiction, mental health issues, and other societal barriers or discrimination. Both focuses work in a variety of community health and human services settings such as social and advocacy organizations, residential care facilities, outpatient care centres and community-based food, housing, emergency and other relief services. Both programs and fields of work focus on promoting equality and addressing disadvantages that people face. People working in the field use their knowledge of human behaviour and development, communication, interviewing and counselling skills, to work with groups and/or communities to help them become more caring and capable of supporting their communities.

Our Social Service Worker program prepares students to work with people who are experiencing stressful events in their lives from an individual, family and community perspective and learn how to intervene in crisis situations and will develop skills needed to assist individual clients, groups, families and communities to better meet their challenges and to enhance their social functioning.

Our Addiction and Mental Health Worker program provides students with evidence-based knowledge and skills in screening, assessing and responding to people with mental health, substance use and other addictions from diverse cultural and community perspectives.

In both areas of focus, clinical practice labs and field placements provide a milieu where students are able to apply theory into practice through interviewing, case assessment and planning. Students will apply skills, such as teamwork and group work outside of class including opportunities to work in inter-professional teams to gain direct practice experience providing support to clients.

Fieldwork Placements & Seminars in final year of study, semester 5 and 6, will be specific to the filed of choice, either AM4002/AM4003 or SM4031/SW4051

For more information on our Social Service Worker and our Addiction & Mental Health Worker programs, including tuition, admission requirements, and courses, please refer to the individual programs:

Social Service WorkerAddiction and Mental Health

Contact Information

Tara Duclos
Program Coordinator
705-235-3211 ext. 2138
duclost@northern.on.ca

Admission Requirements

Domestic Admission Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
Grade 12 English (C, U) (Minimum 60% GPA required)
Or equivalent

Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office (word processing), web search engines and e-mail systems.

Mature students (applicants who do not have a secondary school diploma or equivalent and have reached the age of 19 years on or before the start of the program) must undergo English language comprehension and grammar testing prior to admission into a program and demonstrate through a prior learning assessment process (PLA) equivalency with the admission requirements. Call the Admissions Office at 705-235-7222 for details.

International Admission Requirements

1. Proof of Senior High School Diploma/Certificate

2. English Proficiency (we will require one of the following):

  • IELT Academic International English Language Testing System: a minimum overall score of 6.0 must be achieved with only one band at 5.5.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – Computer-based overall minimum score of 79
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic – Graduate Diploma: 58+

CO-OP Work Permit to participate in unpaid program placements.

If your country of citizenship has English as its official language, we may accept alternate proof of English Proficiency.

All educational documents must be submitted in English and will be dependent on the country of citizenship.

For more information, please contact admissions@northern.on.ca.

Additional Admissions Requirements

Prior To Fieldwork Placement

  • A current Police Vulnerable Sector screening: Applicants can expect to wait a minimum of 6-8 weeks to receive a Police Check.
  • A recent criminal/vulnerable sector reference check – (within 3 months) maybe required in Semester II of the program prior to the start of classes in January.

To be eligible for participation in field work practice, students must not have been convicted of any criminal offence for which that person has not been pardoned. An unpardoned criminal record may result in inability to participate in fieldwork practice courses and will prevent the student from graduating. Any costs for these tests/certifications will be the responsibility of the applicant.

In order to prepare you for fieldwork placement, you will be required to have a current resume and cover letter. Fieldwork placement (FWP) agencies may require additional documentation in order for you to begin FWP. The specific documents will be made known to you in your Reflective Practice course.

It is important to note that this program requires a fieldwork component. While the intent is for placements to be arranged in the student’s own community, when this is not possible, alternate communities will need to be considered. Students are responsible for the costs of travel to and from field work placement sites, parking costs, etc. A dress code is in effect during all lab practice sessions and during the field work component of the programs. All theory and lab course work must be successfully completed prior to field work placements.

A passing grade of 60% is required for all Community Services core courses and electives. To succeed in this program, students must be highly motivated, highly committed and physically and mentally fit.

Alternate DeliveryThe program is available to students on campus and to students studying at a distance by e-learning/Contact North format. Please note that students studying by e-learning/Contact North format will be required to travel to lab locations (e.g out of town) on multiple occasions at their own expense.

SSW Pathway - Semester 1 & 2
CM1913 Communications I – Model B

Communications 1 is designed to enhance students’ writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills as required in academic and workplace settings. Emphasis will be placed on the use of appropriate structure, writing conventions, tone and style as well as the enhancement of interpersonal, teamwork, and presentation skills. Topics covered include the three-step writing process, paragraph development, academic integrity, essay composition, grammar and mechanics, A.P.A. and employment documents. Attention to detail is emphasized.

SW1014 Working on Teams and in Groups

This course will provide an interactive environment to enable students to develop group leadership and collaborative group work skills and to critically reflect on interprofessional teamwork. Students in this course will work with and in groups to explore theories relevant to group dynamics and group facilitation. Students will apply theories learned in a lab setting which will examine group dynamics, leadership styles, group conflict management as well as forming and facilitating groups.

SW1024 Social Service Worker Practice I

Social Service Workers communicate with service users in a variety of challenging and complex situations. This course is designed to assist students in acquiring the knowledge and skills to build and maintain a working alliance with service users through skilled communication. Students will develop a broad understanding of the role that emotions play in communication, more specifically, how to recognize and respond to individuals experiencing heightened emotional states. In this course, students will also learn how to effectively communicate with service users of diverse capacities and needs. This course is designed with a one-hour lab component which allows students the opportunity to partner the theoretical aspect with the practical skills, which will enhance learning

SW1063 Introduction to Social Welfare in Canada

In this course, students will study the historical, theoretical and philosophical frameworks that underpin Social Welfare in Canada. Students will study the Indigenous, French and English traditions that have led to the current social safety net in Canada. Students will begin their journey to becoming Social Service Workers by exploring the different models used to work with individuals, families and groups, as well as the fields of Social Service Work available to them after graduation.

SW1073 Understanding Power, Privilege & Oppression

Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP) and Structural Social Work (STSW) are the philosophical basis for Northern College’s Social Service Worker Program. In this course, students will begin to understand their own social location, the concepts of Privilege and Oppression and the impact of these on marginalized people with whom Social Service Workers work. The concept of “Private Troubles versus Public Problems” will assist students to understand their role in working to change systems that oppress people.

SW1083 Record Keeping and Report Writing

Skilled and comprehensive documentation is a feature of the human services profession that is necessary to be able to provide quality and ethical care. In this course, students will be introduced to record keeping and report writing and the important features that the documentation should include. Students will be encouraged to develop an approach to writing which is based on the writer’s purpose, audience and the context of the communication. Students will take a hands on approach to documentation, practicing the skills acquired, while using the structural and anti-oppressive lens’ to inform the tone of their documentation.

SW1093 Human Behaviour and the Social Environment

This course explores human development across the life span in the context of bio-psycho-social influences, including theories and knowledge about the range of social systems in which individuals live and diversity of human behaviour throughout the life cycle. Students will develop an understanding of the interactions between and among biophysical, social, psychological, and cultural systems as they affect human development and shape individual values, beliefs, worldviews and identities.

General Education Elective

General Education Courses are selected online each semester by the student from a list provided and exposes students to a related area of study outside of their immediate academic discipline. Certain programs have predetermined electives. 

CM2913 Communications II – Model B

Communications 2 is a one-semester course that applies the oral and written communication tools learned in COMM1  required by the workplace. The student will enhance the writing skills acquired in COMM1 and continue to learn to produce effective documents including business letters, emails, employment documents as well as reports applicable to their field of study. Students will also participate in mock interviews (as applicable) so that they are prepared to transition into the competitive employment market. Students will continue to learn and apply proper language and grammatical structures and apply editing strategies including APA to documents through both in-class/online activities and through the usage of the customized Mylab online grammar tool. As with COMM1, the content will be inclusive and reflect the diverse workplace that students will experience in the future.

*Students for whom English is not their first language will receive additional language support through the concurrent delivery of CM2933 (Enhanced Comm2) which focuses on the foundational grammar, punctuation and sentence structure skills essential to academic success.

SW2024 Social Service Worker Practice II

This course is designed to build on the knowledge and skills acquired in Social Service Work Practice I relating to skilled communication. In this course, students will develop the practical skills of assessment, planning, intervention, review and evaluation. Students will also study a variety of practice theories and models compatible with the philosophical basis of Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP) and Structural Social Work (STSW) and understand the importance of using theory in everyday practice. This course is designed with a one-hour lab component which allows students the opportunity to practice the skills being taught in order to enhance learning.

SW3103 Interprofessional Collaboration

Social Service Workers perform a variety of roles in diverse occupational settings in which they are expected to work collaboratively with other professionals from other fields of study. Using a variety of current theoretical frameworks, this course will introduce students to the daunting task of interprofessional practice within the field of social services. This course is designed to help students understand how profession-driven differences can cause difficulties and challenges to interprofessional collaboration. Additionally, in this course, students will develop the skills necessary to overcome some of these challenges and engage in effective interprofessional collaborative practice.

SW2073 Working with Indigenous Peoples

This course is intended to assist the student to develop the capacity to work with Indigenous individuals, families, groups and communities. Students will examine the impacts of trauma and colonization for Indigenous peoples and communities by gaining an in-depth understanding of the residential school system, the 60s’s scoop and intergenerational trauma. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to identify culturally safe practice considerations and assist in the development of holistic healing plans that incorporate appropriate cultural resources. Students will connect the concepts learned in two other courses: Trauma-Informed Care and Crisis; and Understanding Power, Privilege and Oppression in Social Service Work to this course in order to be able to build meaningful relationships with Indigenous individuals, family and communities while recognizing the impact of their own privilege on these relationships.

SW2083 Community Health and Development

The importance of Social Service Workers being able to navigate and work within communities at a macro level is imperative to the human services field. This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental concepts and theories used within community organization and development. Community service learning is incorporated where students will do an analysis of the health of their community (using the social determinants of health as a guide. Based on the results students will develop a plan to address their findings, using a structural and anti-oppressive lens to inform their work.

SW2093 Social Policy and Legislation in Social Service Work

Social Service Workers interact with social policy and legislation that impacts vulnerable and oppressed people on a daily basis. This course will provide students the opportunity to learn about government structure, political ideology, social policy and legislation in Canada. These concepts will be viewed through the lens of Anti-Oppressive Practice with a view to learning how to make structural change that improves life conditions for marginalized groups.

SW2103 Social Problems in a Diverse Society

This course uses sociological perspectives to introduce students to specific social concerns in Canada ranging from poverty, drug addiction, and racism to inequalities based on age, gender, ability, and sexual orientation. Students will examine social problems from both individual and institutional perspectives, while considering their persistence. Historically and currently employed strategies to improve social conditions will be addressed.

SSW Pathway - Semester 3 & 4
SW2042 Social Service Worker Practice II Lab

This integrated course is designed to provide students the opportunity to practice the skills learned in Social Service Work Practice I and II. It is offered in an intensive four-day format where students are emerged in an interactive setting in which theory can be applied directly in a safe and comfortable learning environment. In this course, student will also have the opportunity to critically reflect on their progress thus far and develop goals moving forward in the program.

SW3113 Working with Diverse Families

This course will examine how to work with and support Canadian families in contemporary society. Using an anti-oppressive and structural lens: students will examine challenges that Canadian families are facing and develop an awareness of the principles and values that guide human service practice with families. The many layers affecting families will be discussed, including (but not limited to); coupling, marriage, parenting, divorce and blended families. Students will be encouraged to examine their own family systems in light of the contemporary theories of family.

SW3123 Trauma-Informed Care and Crisis

This course is designed to introduce students to a variety of concepts related to trauma, trauma informed practice, crisis and crisis intervention. Students will adopt a trauma informed perspective as part of their Social Service Worker practice. Through case studies and role plays, students will learn how to be employ crisis intervention skills in a culturally appropriate manner. This course will build on the microskills that students have acquired in SSW Practice I, SSW Practice II and SSW Practice II Lab. Students will have the unique opportunity to apply their skills in different mock crisis situations.

SW3133 Addiction and Mental Health

Concurrent Disorders is a term used to describe cases where a person is struggling with both mental health and substance abuse. People who are struggling with mental health are significantly more likely to abuse substances. The inverse is also true, making it paramount that students learn how to work with and support this population. This course will introduce students to the nature of concurrent disorders; discuss competencies related to inter-professional collaboration and explore cultural and societal influences that impact people experiencing concurrent disorders. Students will have an opportunity to hear from experts in the field and participate in activities to help build their own capacity to be able to work with those affected by co-occurring disorders.

SW3143 Program Evaluation and Proposal Writing

This course introduces the Evidence Based Practice (EBP) paradigm by examining Program Evaluation in the context of the Community Services field of work. Students will be given the opportunity to apply the steps involved in EBP which includes posing practice-relevant questions and accessing and evaluating the evidence that answers these questions. The course continues by covering the basics of program design and proposal writing to provide students with opportunities to practice grant writing for sustainable services in the non-profit sector.

SW3153 Interpersonal Violence

This course focuses on the historical, social and cultural contexts of interpersonal violence in Canada. Students will acquire a broad understanding of child abuse and neglect, violence against women and members of the LGBTQ+ community, and intimate partner violence. This knowledge will then be applied to social service work interventions. In this course, students will also explore the social challenges of reducing and ultimately preventing interpersonal violence in the future.

AM1003 The Role of Biology in Addiction and Mental Health

In this course, students will explore current research, focused on genetic and epigenetic factors that may play a role in the development of addiction and mental health of individuals. Students will review the role of medication in supporting those living with additions and mental health. By the end of this course, students will have an understanding of the many factors: biological, psychological and social factors that influence mental health and addiction.

General Education Elective

General Education Courses are selected online each semester by the student from a list provided and exposes students to a related area of study outside of their immediate academic discipline. Certain programs have predetermined electives. 

AM2003 Social Policy and Legislation in Addiction and Mental Health

Students will discuss social policies relating to addiction and mental health from a structural perspective. Students will explore the concept of personal troubles versus public issues. These analyses will assist the student to be able to access appropriate services for clients, as well as develop and implement services to address gaps.

AM2013 Screening, Assessment and Case Management

Based on the cultural beliefs, values and needs of a client/support system, and in collaboration with all service providers, screening, assessment and case management enables clients with support systems to be linked with appropriate providers of care and resources throughout the realm of health and community services and across various care settings. They do so while ensuring that the care provided is safe, effective, client-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. This course will identify the range of diverse service settings in which people with addictions and mental health concerns present, and will examine reasons why the majority of people with addiction and mental health questions do not seek specialized treatment, drop out prematurely or “fall through the cracks” attempting to navigate multiple service systems. Based on a foundation model of trauma informed care, students will use care-based applications to screening and assessment tools for addiction and mental health matters, and will critically reflect on the shortcomings of these tools among specific populations, including Indigenous Peoples and culturally specific groups.

AM2023 Addressing Stigma in Addiction and Mental Health Work

Challenging the stigma associated with addiction and mental health takes understanding, education and examines personal attitudes towards health. This course provides students with an in-depth exploration and analysis of the social construction of stigma relating to people with addiction and mental health issues. Students will focus on the causes, consequences and impacts of stigma at the micro, meso and macro levels, as well as multiple solutions to combat stigma. Students will have the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills by creating an anti-stigma initiative using the (AOP) lens, community outreach and engagement approaches.

AM1013 Professional Practice Skills

Students will examine different models of practice as they relate to mental health and addiction. Students will engage in critical self-reflection to build awareness and appreciation of how power differentials, internalized oppression and social location all influence interactions. A focus on mindful communication practices will be emphasized with a specific focus on anti-oppressive and collaborative communication. Students will learn the models of practice, focusing on effective communication, beginning interviewing skills, empathetic listening, paraphrasing, perception-checking, questioning and affirming.

AM2033 Interviewing and Counselling Skills

Students began to learn about intervention skills in the first semester in Professional Practice Skills. This course provides the opportunity to practice these skills while continuing to enhance the understanding of work at the micro, mezzo and macro levels of practice, with individuals, families, groups and community. Students will enrich their ability to screen, assess and case manage through in-class simulations and case studies. Students will learn to manage risk, determine needs and intervene during crisis. Self-care strategies will be emphasized throughout the learning.

AM2043 Integrated Approaches to Addiction and Mental Health Work

There is a tendency for addiction and mental health to be viewed separately from other areas such as trauma/violence as though they have unique causes and outcomes. Taking an integrated perspective not only improves the student’s understanding of addiction but also invites them to understand collaboration across disciplines rather than in silos. In this course, students will begin to link theory with practice in addiction and mental health work, demonstrating that how one understands addictions will determine the response to it. Students will reflect on their own “theories” of addiction and mental health, and will use this self-reflection as a starting point for discussion of key theoretical frameworks in the addiction and mental health field. Students will describe and examine their theories using the anti-oppressive approach. Students will apply their self-reflection and learning to include a multidimensional theory of addiction and mental health that takes into account biological, psychological, social and structural factors. Students will be able to apply addiction and mental health within a number of intersecting causes and influences with a range of individual, social and social-structural interventions and possible responses.

AM3013 Addictions and Mental Health Capstone

Students will explore specific populations and key issues in the field of addictions and mental health. Students will work in small groups to explore special populations and share the information with their peers. These populations include women (including pregnant women); older adults; youth; Indigenous people; LGBTTTIQ/Q communities; racialized communities; new Canadians; differently-abled individuals; those who are homeless; people with concurrent disorders, dual diagnosis, PTSD and survivors of interpersonal trauma/violence. This capstone course will be the vehicle for students to pull together all of the learning in the program, including theory, practice, group work skills and community engagement strategies to develop and present their project.

AMHW Pathway - Semester 1 & 2
CM1913 Communications I – Model B

Communications 1 is designed to enhance students’ writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills as required in academic and workplace settings. Emphasis will be placed on the use of appropriate structure, writing conventions, tone and style as well as the enhancement of interpersonal, teamwork, and presentation skills. Topics covered include the three-step writing process, paragraph development, academic integrity, essay composition, grammar and mechanics, A.P.A. and employment documents. Attention to detail is emphasized.

SW1014 Working on Teams and in Groups

This course will provide an interactive environment to enable students to develop group leadership and collaborative group work skills and to critically reflect on interprofessional teamwork. Students in this course will work with and in groups to explore theories relevant to group dynamics and group facilitation. Students will apply theories learned in a lab setting which will examine group dynamics, leadership styles, group conflict management as well as forming and facilitating groups.

AM1003 The Role of Biology in Addiction and Mental Health

In this course, students will explore current research, focused on genetic and epigenetic factors that may play a role in the development of addiction and mental health of individuals. Students will review the role of medication in supporting those living with additions and mental health. By the end of this course, students will have an understanding of the many factors: biological, psychological and social factors that influence mental health and addiction.

SW1073 Understanding Power, Privilege & Oppression

Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP) and Structural Social Work (STSW) are the philosophical basis for Northern College’s Social Service Worker Program. In this course, students will begin to understand their own social location, the concepts of Privilege and Oppression and the impact of these on marginalized people with whom Social Service Workers work. The concept of “Private Troubles versus Public Problems” will assist students to understand their role in working to change systems that oppress people.

SW2073 Working with Indigenous Peoples

This course is intended to assist the student to develop the capacity to work with Indigenous individuals, families, groups and communities. Students will examine the impacts of trauma and colonization for Indigenous peoples and communities by gaining an in-depth understanding of the residential school system, the 60s’s scoop and intergenerational trauma. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to identify culturally safe practice considerations and assist in the development of holistic healing plans that incorporate appropriate cultural resources. Students will connect the concepts learned in two other courses: Trauma-Informed Care and Crisis; and Understanding Power, Privilege and Oppression in Social Service Work to this course in order to be able to build meaningful relationships with Indigenous individuals, family and communities while recognizing the impact of their own privilege on these relationships.

SW3123 Trauma-Informed Care and Crisis

This course is designed to introduce students to a variety of concepts related to trauma, trauma informed practice, crisis and crisis intervention. Students will adopt a trauma informed perspective as part of their Social Service Worker practice. Through case studies and role plays, students will learn how to be employ crisis intervention skills in a culturally appropriate manner. This course will build on the microskills that students have acquired in SSW Practice I, SSW Practice II and SSW Practice II Lab. Students will have the unique opportunity to apply their skills in different mock crisis situations.

CM2913 Communications II – Model B

Communications 2 is a one-semester course that applies the oral and written communication tools learned in COMM1  required by the workplace. The student will enhance the writing skills acquired in COMM1 and continue to learn to produce effective documents including business letters, emails, employment documents as well as reports applicable to their field of study. Students will also participate in mock interviews (as applicable) so that they are prepared to transition into the competitive employment market. Students will continue to learn and apply proper language and grammatical structures and apply editing strategies including APA to documents through both in-class/online activities and through the usage of the customized Mylab online grammar tool. As with COMM1, the content will be inclusive and reflect the diverse workplace that students will experience in the future.

*Students for whom English is not their first language will receive additional language support through the concurrent delivery of CM2933 (Enhanced Comm2) which focuses on the foundational grammar, punctuation and sentence structure skills essential to academic success.

AM1013 Professional Practice Skills

Students will examine different models of practice as they relate to mental health and addiction. Students will engage in critical self-reflection to build awareness and appreciation of how power differentials, internalized oppression and social location all influence interactions. A focus on mindful communication practices will be emphasized with a specific focus on anti-oppressive and collaborative communication. Students will learn the models of practice, focusing on effective communication, beginning interviewing skills, empathetic listening, paraphrasing, perception-checking, questioning and affirming.

AM2003 Social Policy and Legislation in Addiction and Mental Health

Students will discuss social policies relating to addiction and mental health from a structural perspective. Students will explore the concept of personal troubles versus public issues. These analyses will assist the student to be able to access appropriate services for clients, as well as develop and implement services to address gaps.

AM2013 Screening, Assessment and Case Management

Based on the cultural beliefs, values and needs of a client/support system, and in collaboration with all service providers, screening, assessment and case management enables clients with support systems to be linked with appropriate providers of care and resources throughout the realm of health and community services and across various care settings. They do so while ensuring that the care provided is safe, effective, client-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. This course will identify the range of diverse service settings in which people with addictions and mental health concerns present, and will examine reasons why the majority of people with addiction and mental health questions do not seek specialized treatment, drop out prematurely or “fall through the cracks” attempting to navigate multiple service systems. Based on a foundation model of trauma informed care, students will use care-based applications to screening and assessment tools for addiction and mental health matters, and will critically reflect on the shortcomings of these tools among specific populations, including Indigenous Peoples and culturally specific groups.

SW2083 Community Health and Development

The importance of Social Service Workers being able to navigate and work within communities at a macro level is imperative to the human services field. This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental concepts and theories used within community organization and development. Community service learning is incorporated where students will do an analysis of the health of their community (using the social determinants of health as a guide. Based on the results students will develop a plan to address their findings, using a structural and anti-oppressive lens to inform their work.

AM2023 Addressing Stigma in Addiction and Mental Health Work

Challenging the stigma associated with addiction and mental health takes understanding, education and examines personal attitudes towards health. This course provides students with an in-depth exploration and analysis of the social construction of stigma relating to people with addiction and mental health issues. Students will focus on the causes, consequences and impacts of stigma at the micro, meso and macro levels, as well as multiple solutions to combat stigma. Students will have the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills by creating an anti-stigma initiative using the (AOP) lens, community outreach and engagement approaches.

AM2043 Integrated Approaches to Addiction and Mental Health Work

There is a tendency for addiction and mental health to be viewed separately from other areas such as trauma/violence as though they have unique causes and outcomes. Taking an integrated perspective not only improves the student’s understanding of addiction but also invites them to understand collaboration across disciplines rather than in silos. In this course, students will begin to link theory with practice in addiction and mental health work, demonstrating that how one understands addictions will determine the response to it. Students will reflect on their own “theories” of addiction and mental health, and will use this self-reflection as a starting point for discussion of key theoretical frameworks in the addiction and mental health field. Students will describe and examine their theories using the anti-oppressive approach. Students will apply their self-reflection and learning to include a multidimensional theory of addiction and mental health that takes into account biological, psychological, social and structural factors. Students will be able to apply addiction and mental health within a number of intersecting causes and influences with a range of individual, social and social-structural interventions and possible responses.

General Education Elective

General Education Courses are selected online each semester by the student from a list provided and exposes students to a related area of study outside of their immediate academic discipline. Certain programs have predetermined electives. 

AMHW Pathway - Semester 3 & 4
SW1024 Social Service Worker Practice I

Social Service Workers communicate with service users in a variety of challenging and complex situations. This course is designed to assist students in acquiring the knowledge and skills to build and maintain a working alliance with service users through skilled communication. Students will develop a broad understanding of the role that emotions play in communication, more specifically, how to recognize and respond to individuals experiencing heightened emotional states. In this course, students will also learn how to effectively communicate with service users of diverse capacities and needs. This course is designed with a one-hour lab component which allows students the opportunity to partner the theoretical aspect with the practical skills, which will enhance learning

SW1063 Introduction to Social Welfare in Canada

In this course, students will study the historical, theoretical and philosophical frameworks that underpin Social Welfare in Canada. Students will study the Indigenous, French and English traditions that have led to the current social safety net in Canada. Students will begin their journey to becoming Social Service Workers by exploring the different models used to work with individuals, families and groups, as well as the fields of Social Service Work available to them after graduation.

SW1083 Record Keeping and Report Writing

Skilled and comprehensive documentation is a feature of the human services profession that is necessary to be able to provide quality and ethical care. In this course, students will be introduced to record keeping and report writing and the important features that the documentation should include. Students will be encouraged to develop an approach to writing which is based on the writer’s purpose, audience and the context of the communication. Students will take a hands on approach to documentation, practicing the skills acquired, while using the structural and anti-oppressive lens’ to inform the tone of their documentation.

SW1093 Human Behaviour and the Social Environment

This course explores human development across the life span in the context of bio-psycho-social influences, including theories and knowledge about the range of social systems in which individuals live and diversity of human behaviour throughout the life cycle. Students will develop an understanding of the interactions between and among biophysical, social, psychological, and cultural systems as they affect human development and shape individual values, beliefs, worldviews and identities.

SW3143 Program Evaluation and Proposal Writing

This course introduces the Evidence Based Practice (EBP) paradigm by examining Program Evaluation in the context of the Community Services field of work. Students will be given the opportunity to apply the steps involved in EBP which includes posing practice-relevant questions and accessing and evaluating the evidence that answers these questions. The course continues by covering the basics of program design and proposal writing to provide students with opportunities to practice grant writing for sustainable services in the non-profit sector.

SW3093 Preparation for Placement

This course is designed to assist students to prepare for and secure a placement. Students will continue their journey of self-awareness, self-reflection and professional growth as Anti-Oppressive Social Service Workers. Students will learn the importance of fieldwork placement as a tool to blend real life experience with the theory they have learned in the classroom.

SW3133 Addiction and Mental Health

Concurrent Disorders is a term used to describe cases where a person is struggling with both mental health and substance abuse. People who are struggling with mental health are significantly more likely to abuse substances. The inverse is also true, making it paramount that students learn how to work with and support this population. This course will introduce students to the nature of concurrent disorders; discuss competencies related to inter-professional collaboration and explore cultural and societal influences that impact people experiencing concurrent disorders. Students will have an opportunity to hear from experts in the field and participate in activities to help build their own capacity to be able to work with those affected by co-occurring disorders.

AM3013 Addictions and Mental Health Capstone

Students will explore specific populations and key issues in the field of addictions and mental health. Students will work in small groups to explore special populations and share the information with their peers. These populations include women (including pregnant women); older adults; youth; Indigenous people; LGBTTTIQ/Q communities; racialized communities; new Canadians; differently-abled individuals; those who are homeless; people with concurrent disorders, dual diagnosis, PTSD and survivors of interpersonal trauma/violence. This capstone course will be the vehicle for students to pull together all of the learning in the program, including theory, practice, group work skills and community engagement strategies to develop and present their project.

SW2024 Social Service Worker Practice II

This course is designed to build on the knowledge and skills acquired in Social Service Work Practice I relating to skilled communication. In this course, students will develop the practical skills of assessment, planning, intervention, review and evaluation. Students will also study a variety of practice theories and models compatible with the philosophical basis of Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP) and Structural Social Work (STSW) and understand the importance of using theory in everyday practice. This course is designed with a one-hour lab component which allows students the opportunity to practice the skills being taught in order to enhance learning.

General Education Elective

General Education Courses are selected online each semester by the student from a list provided and exposes students to a related area of study outside of their immediate academic discipline. Certain programs have predetermined electives. 

SW2093 Social Policy and Legislation in Social Service Work

Social Service Workers interact with social policy and legislation that impacts vulnerable and oppressed people on a daily basis. This course will provide students the opportunity to learn about government structure, political ideology, social policy and legislation in Canada. These concepts will be viewed through the lens of Anti-Oppressive Practice with a view to learning how to make structural change that improves life conditions for marginalized groups.

SW2103 Social Problems in a Diverse Society

This course uses sociological perspectives to introduce students to specific social concerns in Canada ranging from poverty, drug addiction, and racism to inequalities based on age, gender, ability, and sexual orientation. Students will examine social problems from both individual and institutional perspectives, while considering their persistence. Historically and currently employed strategies to improve social conditions will be addressed.

SW3103 Interprofessional Collaboration

Social Service Workers perform a variety of roles in diverse occupational settings in which they are expected to work collaboratively with other professionals from other fields of study. Using a variety of current theoretical frameworks, this course will introduce students to the daunting task of interprofessional practice within the field of social services. This course is designed to help students understand how profession-driven differences can cause difficulties and challenges to interprofessional collaboration. Additionally, in this course, students will develop the skills necessary to overcome some of these challenges and engage in effective interprofessional collaborative practice.

SW3113 Working with Diverse Families

This course will examine how to work with and support Canadian families in contemporary society. Using an anti-oppressive and structural lens: students will examine challenges that Canadian families are facing and develop an awareness of the principles and values that guide human service practice with families. The many layers affecting families will be discussed, including (but not limited to); coupling, marriage, parenting, divorce and blended families. Students will be encouraged to examine their own family systems in light of the contemporary theories of family.

Placements Courses
SW4041 SSW Fieldwork Placement

This is a cooperative endeavour between the College SSW program and various community social services agencies. Students are placed in agencies under supervision of the agency, and partnered with a member of the college faculty team for a 15-week/500-hour duration. The final grade will be determined by the faculty member through regular interaction with both the student and workplace supervisor. The objective is to provide students with a practical opportunity to integrate and apply entry-level knowledge of practice theories and models compatible with the philosophical basis of Anti-Oppressive Practice and Structural Social Work, utilizing core values and skills.

SW4051 SSW Fieldwork Seminar

Students, while on work placement, will have a variety of experiences in agency settings, child welfare, mental health, custody settings, health care settings, government and municipal services, school settings, etc. They will work to solidify and practice a variety of critical skills, professional relationship building, interventions, counselling approaches, self-evaluation, self-care, and professional development. Students will take part in Fieldwork Seminars one day a month throughout the placement in order to integrate their experiences in the field with the theories they learned in the classroom.

AM4003 Fieldwork Placement

This is a cooperate endeavour between the College Addiction and Mental Health Worker Program and various community agencies. Students are placed in agencies under supervision for a 650-hour duration. The objective is to provide students with a practical opportunity as a professional in training to integrate and apply entry-level knowledge, values and skills, while actively participating in the activities of the agency with staff and clients.

AM4002 Fieldwork Seminar

This course is a co-requisite of Fieldwork Placement. While on placement, students will attend four Seminar days. This in-class experience provides the opportunity to critically analyze the experiences that are occurring in the field. Students begin to understand the delicate balance between what they have learned in the classroom (theory, skills), the needs of clients and the requirements of agencies. Self-care will be emphasized as students transition from the role of student to that of entry-level professional.

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