Program Information

Students in Lambton College's Social Service Worker program will develop the skills, knowledge, and values required to support diverse individuals, families, groups and communities. With practical experience both in and out of the classroom, as well as through ongoing reflective practice, students will develop the skills to assist in empowering clients to learn to help themselves and to face the challenging work of being a Social Service Worker.

Small class sizes, technology in the classroom, role play and simulation exercises as well as a variety of personal, hands-on experiences, will result in a deeper understanding of self, which will ultimately benefit clients. 

Individuals considering the Social Service Worker program are asked to carefully evaluate their reasons for entering this field. The work calls for people who are mature enough to examine their own values, beliefs and life experiences while focusing upon the needs of vulnerable populations.

Students will complete approximately 650 hours of supervised experiential field placement while in the program. An additional 60+ hours of volunteer work in the community is required over the course of the program. Students' theoretical and practical experience will be enhanced by group work, leadership and participation in a capstone community project that is determined by a real social issue that benefits a non-profit community organization in the Sarnia-Lambton area.

Any applicant entering this program must meet employment entrance criteria set by individual employers and provide a vulnerable sector criminal reference check, in order to apply for placement opportunities. A criminal record could limit a student's ability to successfully secure placement opportunities which are a requirement of graduation.

Fall 2021 Delivery Format

For the Fall 2021 term, this program will be partially remote. Students in first year will be expected to be on campus sporadically throughout the week to complete hands-on curriculum in a safe and socially distanced environment.

For upper year students, information about delivery format is available on mylambton.ca.

See Course List

Admission Requirements

O.S.S.D. or equivalent with:

  • Grade 12 English C or U

Mature applicants must be at least 19 years of age by the start of classes, be out of secondary school for at least one year and usually do not have a high school diploma. Mature applicant assessment for this program is available in the Counselling Department in the subject of English. The assessment(s) will demonstrate proficiency in required admission subjects. For more information please contact the Counselling Department at ext. 3412. Academic admission requirements can be obtained through Academic Upgrading and Pre-Programs at Lambton College.


The admissions process is competitive and meeting the minimum academic requirements does not guarantee admission.

Lambton College reserves the right to alter information including admission requirements and to cancel at any time a program or course; to change the location and/or term in which a program or course is offered; to change the program curriculum as necessary to meet current competencies or changes in the job market; to change the pathways third-party certification bodies; or to withdraw an offer of admission both prior to and after its acceptance by an applicant or student because of insufficient applications or registrations or over-acceptance of offers of admission. In the event Lambton College exercises such a right, Lambton College’s sole liability will be the return of monies paid by the applicant or student to Lambton College.

Course List

COM-1013: Critical Thinking and Writing

In this writing course, students will respond to current issues and news articles via various styles of paragraphs and essays. Students will strive for clarity of message and diplomatic expression of opinion based on fact. Students will practice thinking critically and will organize and hone their writing to ensure clarity and correctness in their messages. Critical Thinking and Writing lays the foundation for a subsequent research- writing course.

ITS-1003: Information Technology Skills

Current and effective use of Information Technology Skills (ITS) is a requirement for all working professionals. ITS-1003 is a blended learning course designed to acquaint students with Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint software as well as the fundamentals of file-management when using the Microsoft Windows operating system. Different browsers, practical Internet research tools and the Lambton College email program are also studied. This course is delivered using practical hands-on applications and comprises additional online skills assessment and training tools purposefully designed to provide flexibility in learning. Greater emphasis is placed on Microsoft Word and PowerPoint than Excel as the course aligns more closely to community services and liberal studies. This course further prepares students to apply these technological skills as they continue and expand in their program areas of study.

SSW-1003: Helping Skills

This is an introductory course to enable students to focus on an awareness of themselves as helpers. The helping process, interpersonal communication skills and casework principles are explored, resulting in the student understanding how their values and personal styles are related to effective case work and the casework relationship.

SSW-1023: Social Service Systems I

This course traces the historical development of social work in Canada. The student explores the various delivery systems that the social service worker uses to enable their clients to help themselves. The systems are examined in terms of level of government role, funding, function, organizational structure and administration. Pertinent government legislation and analysis of oppressed population groups assist the student's understanding of the system. Students explore the roots of poverty and the impact on individuals, families and communities locally, provincially and nationally. Emphasis of study also includes examining social service work with women and Indigenous peoples in Canada.

SSW-1034: Field Work Preparation

This course develops the student's knowledge of persistent and emergent social problems and issues in the community. A life skills model is introduced as a tool for students to apply in group and individual settings in teaching problem solving skills. This course introduces the student to the social work network of resources and provides them with what they need to know to prepare for their first field placement experience in Semester II. The students are also introduced to the Ontario College of Social Work and Social Service Work Code of Ethics.

HGD-1053: Introduction to Community Mental Health

Effective practitioners begin their work with an understanding of how individuals think, feel, and behave. Included in this knowledge must be the contextual factors that impact wellness, including the following: personal challenges, relationships, environmental stressors, and diversity needs. The goal of this course is to provide future front-line workers with practical examples of how a mental health concern might develop and how they might respond. Examination of the biological and sociocultural determinants of addictions and mental illness, treatment options, and community resources that can be leveraged to enhance wellbeing are the key components of this course. Students will not only apply theory and diagnostic criteria to a presenting problem, but they will also become responsive to the grey areas that are unique to a person's situation.

COM-2053: Communications for Community Services

This course enhances students' communication skills in preparation for work in community services. Through the theme of "advocacy and education," students read, examine, and respond to selected essays and articles, creating research reports and research presentations to share with their peers. The research process provides students with the opportunity to develop their writing skills through critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, application, and evaluation. These skills are necessary for success in current and future college courses, the workplace, and students' personal lives.

SSW-2003: Interview/Assessment Skills

This course provides students with interviewing and basic assessment skills. The primary focus is on adapting these skills to various practice settings. Role-plays and simulations provide an opportunity for students to begin practicing and demonstrating their skills.

SSW-2013: Social Service Systems II

This course builds on SSW 1023 by continuing to explore oppression and privilege in social service work practice. Examinations of current social and economic systems that can be oppressive and unjust to particular populations in Canada are explored in depth. Emphasis of study includes persons with physical disabilities, youth, sexual and gender diversity, immigration and cultural diversity, child welfare and child abuse and the elderly. Students review and analyze key government legislations that support and impact these population sub groups.

SSW-2083: Ethics and Report Writing

This course's seminar approach is designed to help the student integrate theory from the profession with their practicum experience. Students are expected to design a Field Placement Learning Goals and Objectives document that will reflect their learning needs in conjunction with their field placement. Students are encouraged to share their practicum experiences with their peers in small group sessions. Students will also learn and abide by the Ontario College of Social Work and Social Service Work Code of Ethics. Writing skills will also be developed relevant to the Social Service Work profession.

SSWF-2086: Field Work I

Students, in conjunction with Faculty, will apply for field placement opportunities and interview with agency or school staff, who ultimately make the final decision in accepting a student. Students will spend 2 days a week in placement for 12 weeks in the semester and complete 2 full block weeks of placement. Students will be responsible for working with individuals, families and groups, as per the agency/school mandate. They will also be responsible for administrative duties as required. This work will be completed under close supervision of a Field Supervisor. Field work will provide significant practice learning where the theory learned in the classroom comes together with practice in the field.

SSW-1013: Social Group Work

This course is designed and based upon the "Experiential Learning Model". The course is meant to be a practical, hands-on-learning environment that moves students from theory to practical experiences. By establishing student groups (teams) in a structured setting, interpersonal skills and group dynamics can be explained, understood, and practiced.

GED-XXX3: General Education Elective

Academic Break

PSY-2003: Psychology II

This course focuses on how we behave. It is an attempt to understand ourselves and others. The primary goal of this course is to investigate the application of psychological information to people's lives.

SSW-3003: Case Work Relationships

This is an advanced-level course in interviewing and counselling skills. Particular emphasis focuses on the students' development of interviewing skills in specialized settings and with special population groups. Students practice advanced skills in exploring, contracting, and influencing the client in a constructive manner. Students begin to examine their own professional style of interviewing.

SSW-3083: Professional Integrity

This course explores the importance of professional integrity in the field of social service work. Anti-oppressive practice theory as well as a holistic, integrated, principle centred approach to professional practice, will be used to explore self awareness when it comes to demonstrating professional integrity in the field placement experience. Using reflective practice, students will explore their use of front line practice skills while working with clients. Small group lab classes will be used for students to discuss how they are integrating their classroom, skills based learning, into their work in their field placement. During this time they will identify successes in the field as well as areas for growth.

SSWF-3084: Field Work II

Students, in conjunction with Faculty, will apply for field placement opportunities and interview with agency or school staff, who ultimately make the final decision in accepting a student. Students will spend 2 days a week in placement for 9 weeks in the semester and complete 1 block week of placement. Students will be responsible for working with individuals, families and groups, as per the agency/school mandate. They will also be responsible for administrative duties as required. This work will be completed under close supervision of a Field Supervisor. Field work will provide significant practice learning where the theory learned in the classroom comes together with practice in the field.

SSW-4053: Family Process

This course introduces the student to the developmental stages that a family experiences during its lifetime. A systemic approach is used as a framework to explore the stages of the family, paying respect to the diverse experiences of various family forms.

GED-XXX3: General Education Elective

SSW-3073: Community Organization

This course is an introduction to community organization and social policy. Engaging in community practice enables the Social Service Worker to make client referrals, assess community resources, develop client social support systems and advocate to policy makers for programs to meet clients' needs. Students in this course engage in a community project in Sarnia/Lambton that strives to meet this ideal, based on a social problem/need identified by the student group.

SSW-1043: Community Participation

This course encourages students to participate actively in their community through volunteer work. Students will engage in networking and advocacy activities to promote positive change and social justice. Students will have the opportunity to integrate theory and skills in their work with individuals, families, groups and community agencies.

SSW-4003: Case Management

This course is designed to develop the students' understanding of the purpose and use of the casework problem-solving method. Students examine and explore their abilities in the following areas: basic and advanced communication skills, establishing working relationships with clients, helping clients challenge themselves, problem clarification, goal setting, development of an action plan, the implementation of the plan and on-going evaluation. These are creative and humane ways of being with clients in their efforts to develop a program of constructive change. The course provides the student with a practical, planned and organized framework for understanding client problems and developing purposeful methods with the client for problem solution.

SSW-4063: Overview of Addictions

This course provides an overview of addictions. Students examine a variety of factors that influence the addictive cycle and the associated addictive behaviours. We explore the impact addictions have on an individual, the family and society. Students gain knowledge and have the opportunity to apply a variety of therapeutic interventions to work with the addicted individual..

SSW-4083: Social Issues and Problems

This course is designed to cover a variety of current social issues and problems in our society. This seminar approach allows students to continue their discussions of relevant placement issues.

SSWF-4085: Field Work III

Students will continue at the field placement site that they were selected for in SSWF 3084. Students will spend 2 days a week in placement for 14 weeks in the semester and complete 1 full block week of placement. Students will continue to be responsible for working with individuals, families and groups, as per the agency/school mandate. They will also be responsible for administrative duties as required. This work will continue to be completed under close supervision of a Field Supervisor. This Field work will provide significant practice learning where the theory learned in the classroom comes together with practice in the field.

Program Maps

Students are required to follow their prescribed program map and are not allowed to take unscheduled breaks for any reason.

Current Students

Current students can view program maps from previous years on the mylambton website. 

You will need to login with your C# and password in order to access your program map.

Technology Requirements

This program requires a laptop.

Employment Opportunities

Graduates of the Social Service Worker program are successful in finding employment working with a variety of populations and in a number of different social service and government organizations. These opportunities include employment at Lambton County Social Services (Ontario Works), associations for the developmentally disabled, homeless shelters, poverty reduction and food stability organizations, women’s shelters, sexual assault centres, long-term care homes and senior's facilities, job training/employment services and school boards.

Graduates of the Social Service Worker program will meet the educational requirements for registration as a Social Service Worker in the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

For more information, please contact the appropriate campus:

Toronto
416-485-2098
lambton@cestarcollege.com
Mississauga
905-890-7833 x 222
lambton@queenscollege.ca
Sarnia/Main Campus
international@lambtoncollege.ca
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