Social service workers are health care professionals that may assess, treat, and evaluate (but do not diagnose) individual, interpersonal and societal problems through the use of their social service work knowledge, skills, interventions, and strategies. They work with patients to understand the social contexts of their problems and how it affects their quality of life, relationships, and social interactions. Social service workers help to manage sources of stress by designing solutions that strengthen coping skills. Problems that social service workers help solve include:
By using counseling and psychotherapy, social service workers provide services in a variety of different settings. This includes hospitals, addiction centers, senior centers, correctional facilities, schools and private, public, and family clinics. Some of these services provided by social service workers include:
A Registered Social Service Worker must have obtained a two-year College Diploma in Social Service Work from a College of Applied Arts and Technology. It is important to note that the contexts of practice for a Social Service Worker and a Social Worker may overlap.
In Ontario, “Social service worker” is a regulated profession subject to the Code of Ethics and Standards for Practice defined by the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers of Ontario. For more information on regulatory colleges, view our What is a Regulatory College page.
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