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Assiniboine’s two-year Social Service Worker diploma program prepares graduates for roles in community health centres, justice services, long-term care facilities, social service departments, schools, youth centres, outreach services, addiction centres and mental health services.

Program Learning Outcomes 

  • Develop respectful and collaborative professional and interpersonal relationships that adhere to professional, legal, and ethical standards aligned to social service work. 
  • Record information accurately and communicate effectively in written, digital, verbal and non-verbal ways, in adherence to privacy and freedom of information legislation, in accordance with professional and workplace standards. 
  • Integrate a practice framework within a service delivery continuum, addressing the needs of individuals, families and communities. 
  • Plan and implement accessible and responsive programs and services, recognizing the diverse needs and experiences of individuals, groups, families and communities, and meeting these needs. 
  • Examine current social policy, relevant legislation, and political, social, historical, and/or economic systems and their impacts for individuals and communities when delivering services to the user/client. 
  • Develop strategies and approaches that support individual clients, groups, families and communities in building the capacity for self-advocacy, while affirming their dignity and self-worth. 
  • Recognize the capacity for resilience and growth of individuals and communities when responding to the diverse needs of marginalized or vulnerable populations to act as allies and advocates. 
  • Develop strategies and approaches to implement and maintain holistic self-care as a member of a human service profession. 
  • Work with individuals, groups, families and their communities to ensure that service provider strategies promote social and economic justice, and challenge patterns of oppression, discrimination and harassment, and sexual violence with clients, coworkers and communities. 
  • Develop the capacity to work with Indigenous individuals, families, groups and communities while respecting their inherent rights to self-determine. 
  • Identify and address systemic barriers that produce ill-effects, developing appropriate responses using approaches such as trauma informed care practice.

Examples of what social services workers can do: 

  • Administer and implement a variety of social assistance programs and community services. 
  • Assess clients' relevant skill strengths and needs. 
  • Assist clients develop plans of action while providing necessary support and assistance. 
  • Assess and investigate eligibility for social benefits and refer clients to other social services or assist clients in locating and utilizing community resources.  
  • Participate in the selection and admission of clients to appropriate programs. 
  • Assist in evaluating the effectiveness of treatment programs by tracking clients' behavioural changes and responses to interventions.

Success Factors 

You might be a good fit for this program if you would enjoy: 

  • Communicating with individuals from all backgrounds, including those who may be in distress or experiencing complex problems. 
  • Professional commitment to values and ethics, and to continuously developing professional competence. 
  • Thinking critically and creatively to find solutions to complex problems, often with limited resources. 
  • Understanding the challenges and experiences of the individuals and communities you work with, and show empathy and compassion in your interactions. 
  • Working collaboratively as part of a team. 
  • Working in an occupation that requires a deep understanding of the needs and experiences of individuals, families, and communities. 
  • Working with individuals, families, and communities to improve their well-being and quality of life. 

A valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle is strongly recommended given the potential need to travel for practicum placement. 

The industry and program environment require individuals to: 

  • Adhere to professional, legal, and ethical standards aligned to social service work. 
  • Be able to adapt to changing situations and work effectively in a variety of settings. 
  • Be able to manage their own emotions and respond appropriately to the emotions of their clients. 
  • Be patient and persistent in their work, as change may take time and involve setbacks. 
  • Be reliable, punctual, and regularly attend work. 
  • Establish and maintain clear and appropriate boundaries between personal and professional relationships, in accordance with professional, legal, and ethical standards of practice for the well-being of self, co-workers, other professionals and with individuals and communities as service users. 
  • Have an awareness and understanding of different cultures, beliefs, and lifestyles, and demonstrate cultural humility in their interactions with clients. 
  • Listening carefully, concentrating, and asking the right questions. 
  • Listening to direction and act on that accordingly. 
  • Recognize the diverse needs and experiences of individuals, groups, families and communities. 
  • Record information accurately and communicate effectively. 
  • Work in accordance with professional and workplace standards. 
  • Work within the boundaries and scope of practice in the role of the social service worker. 


A complete Manitoba Grade 12 or equivalent

  • A complete Manitoba Grade 12 or equivalent
  • English 40G/40S or equivalent with a minimum mark of 60%
  • Current criminal record vulnerable sector check
  • Current child abuse registry check
  • Current adult abuse registry check

English is the language of instruction at Assiniboine. All applicants educated outside of Canada or in a country not on the test-exempt list are expected to meet the English language proficiency requirement. See assiniboine.net/elp for more information. 

Program Application Checklist

Please use the Social Service Worker Program Application Checklist - Social Service Worker to help you submit a complete application for this program. 

Criminal Record Check/Abuse Registry Checks

Many agencies where students are placed for practicum experience require students to disclose convictions for any offenses. In some instances, applicants with a criminal record or listed on the Child Abuse Registry and/or Adult Abuse Registry may not be admitted to the program. If you fall into one of these categories, please contact the School of Health and Human Services prior to applying.

International Applicants

If you are an international applicant, please read our Helpful Information for International Applicants prior to applying to this program.

Careers & Connections

Career Opportunities

  • Probations
  • Child and family service agencies
  • Addictions
  • Mental health
  • Schools
  • Community group homes
  • Food banks
  • Resource centres 


Assiniboine has a number of agreements with other colleges, universities and professional organizations, making it possible for students to apply credit taken at Assiniboine to programs at other institutions. For up-to-date information on agreements, visit the Articulation Agreements page.

Tools & Supplies

Textbooks, supplies and uniforms for all of our programs and courses may be purchased at the ACC Bookstore at the Victoria Avenue East Campus, which is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Booklists are available from your school office 30 days prior to the start date of your program. Visit the Assiniboine Bookstore website to learn more.

Program Checklist & Textbooks

Technology Requirements

Students in this program are required to bring their own laptop for use on-campus. The laptop must meet the technical needs outlined by the program. Refer to assiniboine.net/tech for detailed information.

Courses & Costs


Estimated Program Costs (Domestic students)
 CreditsTuitionCourse feesStudents' Association fees (Inc Health Premium)Estimated textbooks, tools and supplies
Social Service Worker (YR 1)67$3,980$940$540$1,920
Social Service Worker (YR 2)68$4,040$1000$540$1,710

All fees are estimated and subject to change without notice.

Estimated Program Costs (International students)
 CreditsTuitionCourse FeesStudents' Association fees (Inc Health Premium)Required Health InsuranceTextbooks, Tools, & Supplies
Social Service Worker (YR 1)67$17,510$940$540$750$1,920
Social Service Worker (YR 2)68$17,770$1,000$540$750$1,710

All fees are estimated and are subject to change without notice. All international students must purchase health insurance. The college adds this fee to your student account and then sends your name and fee to the insurance provider on your behalf.


To graduate with a Social Service Worker diploma, students must successfully complete 123 academic credits and 12 practical credits. The minimum passing grade for each course is indicated on the course outline. Course offerings are subject to change and may vary by intake.


Year One Courses
Title Credits/CEUs Elective Distance PLAR
Applied/Field Practice 1 (PRAC-0240)

Prerequisites: COMM-0338 Professional Communications, PSSY-0090 Organizational Behaviour, PSSY-0091 Social Service Foundations, PSSY-0070 Counselling & Interviewing, PSSY-0071 Sociology and minimum 2.0 CPGA
This four-week practicum will allow students to observe and place meaning to classroom lessons as they apply in the community context. Students will be required to reflect on their observations and make journal entries as to how theoretical knowledge is applied in a real-world setting.

4 credit(s) No No Yes
Canadian Governments (LAWG-0070)

This course examines the current institutions and the politics of federal, provincial, municipal and Aboriginal band governments in Canada. Students learn about the primary components of government structure, the political process and the interrelationship between the different levels of government. Manitoba politics receive special reference.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
College Foundations (PEDV-0356)

This course improves students’ ability to navigate the college experience and environment, including student's rights, roles, and responsibilities. In this course, students reflect on their skills, attitudes, and expectations and develop learning strategies to help them to become successful, resilient, and self-directed learners. The course covers topics such as success in online learning, time management strategies, learning strategies, assessment taking strategies, academic integrity, information and digital literacy, and wellness, among others. It integrates elements of student orientation.

0 credit(s) No No No
College Writing (COMM-0337)

The ability to gather and interpret information, then create clear, concise and coherent written material is essential for professional communications. This course focuses on the fundamental building blocks of writing: grammar, punctuation, spelling and word usage.

6 credit(s) No Yes Yes
Community Development (PSSY-0086)

Students examine the concepts, values, and strategies of community development to achieve social change. By conducting a community assessment, students learn how to balance mind, body and spirit from an Indigenous perspective in order to identify health and human services, and community recreation needs.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
Computer Skills (COMP-0353)

In this course, students learn file management, email and Internet concepts. They use a popular word processing package to prepare professional documents.

3 credit(s) No Yes No
Contemporary Issues (PSSY-0087)

This course examines the current issues affecting our environment and community health. Relevant research in areas such as poverty, abuse, addictions and parenting are reviewed.

6 credit(s) No No Yes
Counselling and Interviewing (PSSY-0070)

This course provides an introduction to basic counselling skills of attending, listening and empathy. Students learn to apply a functional model to counselling situations and integrate the basic skills. The course involves classroom and videotaped role-plays, observation and interactive learning.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
Cross-Cultural Awareness (PSSY-0011)

In this course, students explore the significance of anti-bias curriculum. They gain an awareness of a variety of cultures and learn ways to deal effectively in a multi-cultural society.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
Group Processes and Dynamics (COMM-0032)

This course presents an overview of the nature of groups, group problem-solving and communication climates in a group setting.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
Indigenous Studies (INDG-0009)

This course provides students with an historical review of Indigenous culture, pre and post-colonial contacts. Students will examine the impact of government policies, treaties and acts. Students will also explore the significance of traditional customs, ceremonies, demographics,
urbanization, the reserve system, education, employment and other topics relevant in today's society.

6 credit(s) No No No
Negotiation Theory & Practice (HRMG-0013)

This course examines fundamental principles to successful negotiations. Topics include positional and principled negotiation and four prime principles of negotiation. Students have the opportunity of developing and role-playing a negotiation case study in this course.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
Organizational Behaviour (PSSY-0090)

Students study behaviour science theory and concepts useful in organizations. Topics include perception and learning, stress management, applied performance practices, team dynamics, decision-making, power and influence, as well as organizational structure, design, culture and change.

6 credit(s) No No Yes
Presentation Skills & Graphics (COMM-0110)

This course provides students with the skills needed to produce and present professional presentations.

3 credit(s) No No No
Professional Communications (COMM-0338)

Prerequisite: COMM-0337 College Writing
In this course, students will further develop their ability to communicate effectively with varied audiences. Whether it be fellow professionals or individuals in need of care and assistance, social service workers must acquire and utilize effective communication skills.

6 credit(s) No No Yes
Self Government (LAWG-0084)

In this course, students learn the history and current development of self-government initiatives and implications of the dismantling of Indian Affairs Canada.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
Social Service Foundations (PSSY-0091)

In order for a social service worker to function within a community, they must have an understanding of the factors that influence the quality of life for those living in that community. This course will provide students with the basic understanding of both external and internal factors that influence day to day life.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
Sociology (PSSY-0106)

The purpose of this course is to introduce the theoretical approaches of sociology. It investigates the structures of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these environments.

3 credit(s) No No No
Year Two Courses
Title Credits/CEUs Elective Distance PLAR
Applied/Field Practice 2 (PRAC-0241)

Prerequisites: PSSY-0089 Human Behaviour, PSSY-0088 Social Welfare Policy, PSSY-0014 Counselling, HLTH-0182 Mental Health, PEDV-0279 Professional Practice, PSSY-0026 Psychology and a minimum 2.0 CPGA.
This eight-week practicum is designed to give students an opportunity to apply classroom learning. Students are required to design and/or implement and monitor project activities in professional settings.

8 credit(s) No No Yes
Conflict Resolution (PSSY-0012)

In this course, students learn techniques on how to resolve conflicts before they escalate to a crisis situation. They learn how to analyze a variety of confrontational situations and learn personal triggers and reactions to conflicts. Through situational role-playing and other techniques, students learn defusing skills.

3 credit(s) No Yes No
Counselling (PSSY-0014)

Prerequisite: PSSY-0070 Counselling and Interviewing.
Students build on the skills learned in Counselling and Interviewing. Practical experience is gained through role-playing, videotapes and observation.

6 credit(s) No No Yes
Family Systems (PSSY-0015)

This course examines the dynamics of various family situations, the evolution of the family unit and how these factors affect the development of the child into adulthood.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
Health, Recreation & Housing (ECON-0010)

Prerequisite: PRAC-0240 Applied/Field Practice 1
In this course, students will examine the issues of health, recreation, and housing and the impact of these factors on both the individual and the community.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
Human Growth and Development (HLTH-0297)

Learners study the normal growth and development across the human lifespan and take into account the physical, cognitive, social, spiritual and emotional factors.

3 credit(s) No No No
Justice System (LAWG-0006)

Prerequisite: PRAC-0240 Applied/Field Practice 1.
In this course, students learn the history and implications of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry and current alternative sentencing.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
Mental Health (HLTH-0296)

This course focuses on mental health and mental illness in all ages in today's society. It includes topics such as personality and behaviour, anxiety, eating disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, mood disorders, abusive behaviours, and psychogeriatrics. Treatment
strategies and therapies will also be discussed.

3 credit(s) No No No
Professional Practice (PEDV-0279)

Prerequisite: PRAC-0240 Applied/Field Practice 1
In this course, students learn the skills necessary for practicing competent, ethical leadership. Through assigned class work and activities, students are provided opportunities for the practice of leadership skills.

6 credit(s) No No Yes
Project Planning & Evaluation (BUSN-0156)

Prerequisite: PRAC-0240 Applied/Field Practice 1
In this course, students learn how to plan short-term and long-term projects. Students will develop a community-based project with built-in measurement tools in order to assess social impact. The course provides the link between project planning and evaluative measurement.

6 credit(s) No No Yes
Proposal Writing and Research (COMM-0204)

In this course, students learn to develop proposals to meet community needs or implement new projects. The course provides an overview of basic research issues of data collection, sampling and questionnaire design and evaluation. Students are required to address these research issues in their proposal. They learn format, components, structure and organization of a formal proposal.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
Psychology (PSSY-0105)

In this course learners begin to examine basic concepts and principles of individual behaviour. Social service workers require effective interpersonal skills and an ability to relate to people in a broad range of circumstances. Topics covered include the biological basis of behaviour, sensation and perception, theories of learning, cognition, mental abilities, and personality.

3 credit(s) No No No
Social Welfare in Canada (PSSY-0092)

Prerequisite: PRAC-0240 Applied/Field Practice 1 Students examine the underlying causes of social welfare in the Canadian context and programs, initiatives and community services that are in place to address these causes.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
Social Welfare Policy (PSSY-0088)

Prerequisite: PRAC-0240 Applied/Field Practice 1
Students examine provincial legislation, regulations, and social services policy which directs how services are to be provided at the community level.

6 credit(s) No No Yes
Understanding Addictions (PSSY-0093)

Prerequisite: PRAC-0240 Applied/Field Practice 1
In this course, students learn what an addiction is, the needs of people with addictive behaviours and types of addictions. Rehabilitative processes are also studied.

3 credit(s) No No Yes
Violence & Reconciliation (PSSY-0089)

Prerequisite: PRAC-0240 Applied/Field Practice 1
In this course, students will examine the various forms of violence and abuse that are prevalent in society today and the strategies that can be implemented to reconcile these issues. Topics include the cycle of violence, power and control, the role of media, forms of violence and abuse (partner, sexual, child and elder abuse), criminal and gang violence and prevention and treatment strategies to address all of these violence issues.

6 credit(s) No No Yes

Fast Facts

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the next program information session?

Program information sessions are completely free to attend, and we invite you to bring a guest along as well. It's a good idea to register in advance so we know you're coming.

To find the complete schedule for our program information sessions and to RSVP, visit the program information session page.