Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Social change starts early with college program

Toronto is a rich and diverse community, with people from different walks of life. While diversity is a distinct attribute of the city, it also means that there are plenty of individuals who are living in the disadvantaged side. This includes several situations involving injustice, poverty, violence, racism, substance abuse, mental and health issues, education, affordable housing, transportation and city infrastructure, and other societal issues. As these areas require solutions and support, there are people working toward improving society and the lives of individual. A social service worker is the person for the job who will help build a functioning community.

Social service is a service provided to help the community reach and maintain good living conditions. In order to get into this career, higher education is required. The School of Community and Health Studies at Centennial College offers a two-year program that will lead to this career. The Social Service Worker (1203) program engages students in deep understanding of societal values and issues. From power to oppression, students examine social, political, and economic factors affecting societies.

At Centennial College, every student is to be vigilant about injustice. Students are empowered to stand up for their rights and engage in change to better the community. The school has a signature learning course, called Global Citizenship: From Social Analysis to Social Action, which involves the examination and analysis of social problems. Social Service Worker students can become the leaders in this course with the knowledge they are learning about societal issues. Here are some of the exciting things students will learn in the Social Service Worker:
  • Psychological theories examining the stages of human life
  • Canada's social policies, including those in related to globalization, unemployment rates, and privatization
    Interviewing and counselling skills
  • Promotion of equality and social justice through the creation of a community action plan project
  • Productivities and inefficiencies in groups, through a lecture and lab class combination
  • On-the-job training from two field placements, where students work with clients who are marginalized, oppressed, and disempowered
With the combination of academic and practical training, these Centennial students are prepared to start their career after graduation. They can expect to work in the healthcare sector, educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations, and community support services. Similar to the knowledge learned from the courses, the responsibilities of a Social Worker involves dealing directly with clients and planning to enhance the community. Here are some of the job tasks graduates can anticipate to complete:
  • Assess patient needs and develop and implement an appropriate treatment plan
  • Provide counselling services to help patients cope with issues such as illnesses and traumatic events
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date patient records
  • Develop therapeutic programs for individuals and group activities
  • Collaborate with other healthcare and community support personnel on learning programs
Social work is important in society to ensure that justice and equality are maintained. With the students graduating from Centennial's social service worker program, the Toronto community is in good hands. Graduates can launch their careers in social work, assisting underprivileged individuals, the oppressed, and other groups needing social assistance.

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