Monday, February 11, 2013

Developmental Services Workers Build Community Supports for Clients

Does the job of Developmental Services Workers interest you? Do you find the idea of helping people with developmental disabilities to become productive members of community rewarding? Additionally, have you completed at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent or are 19 years of age or older; and have taken the compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent? If you, the Developmental Services Worker program at Centennial College may be for you. Please note that English proficiency will be considered in the admissions process and a program admission session may also be required.

Once you are accepted into the Developmental Services Workers program, you will train from Centennial College’s Ashtonbee Campus. This campus is centrally located and also houses programs from the School of Community and Health Studies such as Early Childhood Education and Social Service Worker, which allows for networking and peer-to-peer interaction.

The Developmental Services Workers program combines theory and much hands-on practice so that students have a chance to apply what they learn before graduation. Course work includes: projects, seminars, community observations, Internet searches, teamwork and electronic communication, which teaches in-depth analysis and critical thinking, managing and affecting change, interpersonal communication and leadership skills as well as clarification of values. Specific courses within the Developmental Services Workers program include: Disabilities Issues: Analysis and Research (students learn to utilize a variety of skills to analyze, summarize and share information about issues that impact individuals, families and workers in response to and in creating change); Policy and Social Welfare Systems (in particular, social policy, legislation and the models of service delivery that affect persons who have intellectual disability in Ontario will be explored); Pharmacology (emphasis is placed on the role of the Developmental Services Worker in administering medications, teaching, supporting and providing care that contributes to drug effectiveness and health for individuals); and more.

Aside from the practical practice students get in their classes, future Developmental Services Workers also get to experience Centennial College’s field placement feature. This particular program offers two supervised field placements, during which students design and implement plans or strategies to teach and support individuals and/or work with communities. Facilitation and leadership skills, community development and, positive imagining and competencies for holistic the personal well-being and community inclusion for clients are some of the areas they will pursue in this placement. Please note that some field placement agencies may require a criminal reference check prior to student placement. Certain criminal convictions may disallow placement in these agencies and program completion may not be possible.

In the field, Developmental Services Workers graduates become educational assistants, employment support workers, family supporters, integration facilitators, and residential service workers who may be responsible for assisting with everything from getting dressed and eating to finding employment and housing. 

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