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Main Programs and Courses Health Care Programs Addictions and Community Services Worker

Addictions and Community Services Worker

Please check with the campus of your choice for program availability.

The Addictions and Community Services Worker program is comprised of on-campus lectures and labs, field trips, industry-related projects, and a work experience component that provides the student with the theory, hands-on experience, and applied learning opportunities. The program prepares the graduate for entry-level positions in community social services with particular attention to the specific needs of people affected with addiction. Students will have a firm grasp on the fundamentals related to addictions and community services, building relationships, life management, and professional and workplace skills.


Admission Requirements


  • High school graduation or equivalent* OR mature student status**.


*From an English language teaching institution.
**19 years of age upon starting classes, and pass college's English admissions test.


Administrative Requirements

  • Complete ‘Student Declaration – Social Services Worker Programs’ form (provided by college).

This program has been approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.


This program is 50 weeks in length.
  • Child and Youth Services
  • Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centres
  • Family Social Service Agencies
  • Group Homes
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Community Mental Health Centres

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Program Courses
ACSW200 / Community Placement

This program includes 200 hours of a full-time community placement.

SSW1130 / Community Services Worker Certificates

In this module, students earn three certificates. The certificates are:

  • First Aid/CPR
  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
  • Non-violent Crisis Intervention (NCI)
ITC4 / Introduction to Computers
This course is a broad-based introduction to using a personal computer. It teaches the fundamentals of an operating system and the most popular application software including word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. You will also learn about the Internet, Web browsers, electronic mail and antivirus software. The course is based on the Windows 7 operating system, Microsoft office 2013 and a variety of popular software programs for the Internet-related and security-related applications
SSS4 / Student Success Strategies

Students will gain a better understanding of themselves through an exploration of their personal attributes, transferable skills and learning styles. This course will introduce techniques for time, conflict, and stress management and develop interpersonal communication skills. Fundamental study and motivation skills will be covered, preparing students to excel in their program of choice. Students will also prepare a professional resume and learn how to write effective cover letters.

ISWO / Introduction to Software Applications
This subject educates the student about the software applications that are commonly used in document preparation, report-writing, and presentations. The student will learn how to use a computer’s operating system; perform basic file management tasks; use a Web browser to explore the Internet and perform searches for information; create, edit, and format documents; and prepare a slide show presentation.
FOAO / Fundamentals of Addiction
This subject provides the foundation for further in-depth subjects in the study of addiction. The basic pharmacological nature and effects of a range of psychoactive chemicals are presented, with an emphasis on challenging the myths of which chemicals cost society the most in terms of economic costs and social burden of human suffering. Specific target populations are explored, focusing on women, children, adolescents, ethnic minorities, elderly, the disabled and those suffering from mental illness. Assessment, intervention strategies, and treatment options are presented, along with the most common problems encountered during treatment.
PRMO / Fundamentals of Pharmacology
This subject provides basic drug information including the basic pharmacological nature and effects of a range of psychoactive chemicals. Students will build knowledge relating drug treatments/usage to various body systems and associated states of disease.
ITPO / Introduction to Intake Procedures and Treatment Planning
This subject will enable the student to become aware of the various testing procedures and the methods by which an appropriate and accurate assessment can be made. Subjects covered include laboratory testing, psychometric assessment, interviews, services, analysis of life situations, differential diagnosis, and the matching hypothesis.
RPIO / Relapse Prevention and Intervention
This subject will provide the student with an understanding of relapse as a natural part of the recovery process. The student will study a range of strategies and techniques to assist in minimizing and preventing the effects of prolonged periods of relapse during the journey of recovery. Students are guided through the entire relapse process by considering the application of some basic principles introduced in the CENAPS Model of Treatment (CENAPS is an acronym for Centre for Applied Behavioural Research).
ECRO / Ethics
This subject is designed to provide the student with a framework in which to view helping functions and related skills in a systematic manner. The subject concentrates on the helper’s task of becoming a more aware and effective person. The emphasis is on empowering others to help themselves through the development of communication and coping skills. Areas include: reasons for students seeking a career in the helping profession; practical strategies for ensuring quality experiences in fieldwork and supervision stages of the helping process; common problems at work in regards to resistance, transference, counter -transference and difficult clients; ethical awareness and learning for helpers; value and belief systems of helpers; one’s role in the community as a helper; and stress and burnout.
IVWO / Interviewing Techniques
This subject will assist the student to define communication skills and demonstrate how to use them effectively in many types of situations. A group of core communication skills is essential to any interview, whether it takes place in counselling, nursing, social work, personnel work, or information gathering.
GFCO / Group Facilitation Concepts
This course will provide the student with an overview of the nature of group work in a social service setting and an opportunity to explore relevant techniques and exercises designed to enhance group work.
WFMO / Working with Families
This course will provide students with an overview of how addiction can impact the family unit. Understanding the family reaction is critical to providing caring support to the recovering addict and their loved ones. A recovery program that does not address issues of co-dependency may increase the likelihood of persistent patterns of relapse for both the addict and their family.
HRPO / High Risk Populations
Understanding about high risk populations provides the foundation for further in-depth examination of the relationship between substance abuse and a specific population in society. The purpose of this course is to gain a realistic perspective of drug-related problems affecting different sub-populations in society. To understand the complex issues surrounding drugs in our society, we need to recognize the enormous diversity that exists within the general population. This course will provide the student with the basic knowledge around being a multicultural counsellor and working specifically with sub-populations that are regularly encountered.
YTHE / Youth Issues
This course is designed to give students an overview of the issues that our youth are facing in today’s society. The course looks at three general areas of concern related to youth issues. The first part of the course is aimed at describing what is meant by at-risk and who these at-risk youth are. This is essential in order to better understand what the common risk factors that contribute to youth becoming at risk are. Secondly, the student will learn about the different at-risk categories in order to explore the various issues and problems. Finally, the course will look at the different intervention, prevention, and treatment strategies or models.
PCGO / Psychology
This subject provides the student with a basic knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts that can be applied in the subjects that follow.
CMFO / Communications Fundamentals
This subject provides a comprehensive study of effective communication skills and techniques the student will use -- both professionally and personally. The subject will sharpen skills to work effectively in a professional helping relationship. Students will also learn how to conduct an effective job search and how to continue their development as an addictions worker.
CRNO / Community Resources and Networking
The goal of an addictions worker is to accurately assess the client’s needs and provide the most appropriate referral in an ethical manner. This subject establishes a framework to assess needs and explores the various services available in the community. This is accomplished by guiding the student through a series of assignments to enhance evaluation skills and knowledge.
CFMO / Case File Management and Report Writing
This subject deals with preparing social work-related written reports to communicate the progress of a client. The student will be introduced to various methods of recording information, along with the requirements for various entries to a file within the parameters of legal and ethical requirements. Basic computer skills are further developed through a series of assignments.
SCTO / Secondary Traumatic Stress
Secondary traumatic stress results from helping or wanting to help a traumatized or suffering person. Students will gain insight into their personal strengths and weaknesses and will explore methods to prevent/reduce secondary traumatic stress.
PRVO / Preventive Health Promotion
The student is introduced to various health and relationship concerns that are relevant in chemically dependent individuals. The student will learn to evaluate the effectiveness of program delivery and begin to create new ideas for promoting healthier lifestyle choices within a range of settings and diverse populations.
NCIE / Non-Violent Crisis Intervention
This course is designed to help participants learn to recognize warning signs that allow for early intervention in a crisis as well as how to use both verbal and non-verbal techniques to avoid a violent confrontation. The use of non-violent crisis intervention allows for recognizing individuals in distress early on and using appropriate techniques to address the situation before it becomes a crisis.
ASIE / Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training – ASIST
This is a two-day course designed to teach the skills to allow one to intervene with a youth at risk of suicide. The course prepares people to integrate principles of intervention into everyday practice. The curriculum covers attitudes, knowledge, intervention, and resources. Skills and principles are illustrated with case studies presented in a variety of formats including live dramatizations, role-play simulations, and discussions. Participants will learn how to reduce attitudinal barriers which hinder the ability to be direct and comfortable with suicidal situations, dispel myths about youth suicide, identify the indicators and assess suicidal risk, intervene with a youth at risk of suicide, and engage in efforts to build collaborative resource networks for suicidal youth.
CES4 / Career and Employment Strategies

This course builds on the skills learned in the Student Success Strategies course or its equivalent. It provides information on how to use the communication skills learned in order to make a successful presentation to a prospective employer. Students also learn how to uncover the hidden job market and identifyemployment opportunities. Self-assessment during this course allows students to identify their personal skills that are transferable to the work place and to describe these skills to a prospective employer. Students may be videotaped during a mock interview and will participate in the analysis of their performance in the “interview”.

PRAC300 / Community Placement
This program includes 300 hours of a full-time community placement.
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