Social Service Worker Program students complete two practicum placements in community agencies. The program faculty organize the placements after consultation with each student. The weekly placement (4 to 5 hours per week) lasts throughout the school year. After final exams in the Spring term, students begin their five week full-time block placement in a different agency. Students are expected to learn about the agency, its operations, the community in which it operates, the challenges experienced by the consumers of the services and the methods of helping. Practicum placements are developmental in that students are expected to assume more responsibility as they develop their own skills and knowledge.

Program faculty maintain contact with students and their agency supervisors throughout the placements. Curricula in all courses is linked to learning that takes place in the placements. Students and faculty participate in practicum seminars throughout the school year. Students keep a weekly journal in which they reflect on their experiences, learning, and professional development in their field placements.

Some popular types of placements include:

  • Programs for children and youth
  • Women’s shelters
  • Shelters for persons experiencing homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse issues
  • Elementary and secondary school placements
  • Immigrant serving agencies
  • First Nations programs
  • Street youth programs
  • Services for persons with disabilities
  • Neighbourhood houses
  • Seniors programs
  • Crisis services 
  • Advocacy programs