A variety of learning experiences

Social Service Worker – Certificate

Program Details

Length: 9 months

Total Credits: 42

Intake Terms: Fall

Campus: Castlegar

Student Loans: This program is eligible for Student Loans - details here

Credential Received

Certificate in Social Service Worker


Program Summary

Your sense of caring may have come naturally or perhaps your life has been touched by circumstances that kindle a sense of empathy and a desire to be of service. If you have a desire to support people in times of need and crisis, a career in social services may be for you. Up to 90% of our Social Service Worker (SSW) graduates find stable, satisfying work. A shortage of workers is predicted over the next five years.

Choose Social Service Work if you:

  • Want to help build healthy communities
  • Have a strong desire to support others
  • Believe in caring for others
  • Feel a sense of duty to your community
  • Want to work with marginalized populations

Social Work values form the foundation of this beneficial and rewarding program.

Program Benefits

  • Practical interviewing and counselling skills
  • Development of written and oral communication
  • Promotion of self-awareness, personal growth and readiness for practice
  • Critical thinking, team building and problem solving skills
  • Individual, group and family strategy skills
  • Feminist and Indigenous approaches to practice are introduced
  • Anti-oppressive perspectives are a foundation of the program

This program prepares you to work as entry level practitioner in the Human Services field.

Practicums include a variety of services and programs serving a wide range of populations that includes people who live in poverty, are young, are aging, have substance use and/or mental health problems, have behavioral problems, or other issues that interfere with their ability to cope successfully in a demanding society.

You will have the opportunity to demonstrate skills that include: advocacy, child and youth care, employment supports, substance use awareness, group facilitation, community support and individual support, and problem-solving and communication skills.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate professionalism in practice consistent with the code of ethics and standards of practice of their respective disciplines.
  • use effective interpersonal skills including active listening, collaboration, self-awareness and conflict resolution within multi-faceted roles and contexts.
  • understand and respect cultural differences and multiple ways of knowing.
  • practice from an ethic of inclusivity.
  • establish and maintain wellness strategies to assure work/life balance both personally and professionally.
  • engage in critical thinking, problem solving and reflective practice.

Program Admission Requirements

Academic Requirements

  • Completion of English Studies 12 or equivalent with a minimum of 60% or higher or minimum of LPI level 4
  • Applicants who have previously completed a related certificate and are returning for entry into the second year of a Human Services Diploma are required to provide evidence of completion of a certificate in ECCE, EACSW, SSW or equivalent within the last five years. Acceptance for those who graduated prior to five years will be based on evidence of work in the human service field and/or professional development.
  • The College Readiness Tool (CRT) must be completed prior to starting the program. If you have completed the assessment previously at Selkirk, it's not necessary to do it again. Please see CRT for more information.

Additional Requirements

  • An official copy of all secondary and post-secondary transcripts
  • Two completed personal reference forms
  • A 40 hour work experience form completed by a supervisor who has observed the applicant in a volunteer or paid work situation is required
  • Proof of a negative tuberculosis test or of a clear chest x-ray that is less than 6 months old for those who have been requested to have this from our community partners
  • A current criminal record check from the Ministry of Justice. Some types of criminal records may limit or prohibit acceptance in field placement; acceptance into field placement is a requirement for program promotion
  • Current résumé
  • Personal Statement of interest (250 words)
  • An orientation session is required and will be arranged by the program designate

Basic computer skills are required for this program. Necessary skills include knowledge of internet, email, word processing and file management. You are encouraged to complete the Computer Skills Self-Assessment.

Graduation and Promotion

In order to receive your credential in your program you must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.00 and a minimum of 60% or better in all semester courses.

Program Courses

After successful completion of the year one program courses you may ladder into one of the Diploma programs.

Term 1

Required courses

ENGL110English Composition


FAM180Family Dynamics


HSER174Interpersonal Communications


PSYC100Introductory Psychology I


SSW160Introduction to Social Work I


SSW162Community Resources


Term 2

Required courses

ADD184Introduction To Addictions


ENGL111Introduction To Literature


PSYC101Introductory Psychology II


SSW157Group Skills


SSW161Introduction to Social Policy


SSW163Field Work I


SSW166Application of Theory to Practice


Term 3

Required courses

SSW168Field Work II