Community Social Service Work

Course List

Code Course Description
CSSW 1100

Introduction to Social Work Practice

This course provides an introduction to and an analysis of the history and structure of major social policies and programs in Canada. The problems of social justice and economic disadvantage in particular will be examined within the broader realm of service delivery in the non-profit sector. Initiatives to increase self-determination, the redistribution of wealth, gender equity, and reduction of prejudice will be explored as themes within the dynamic of creating a more egalitarian and humane society. Other themes to be examined include multiculturalism, anti-oppressive social work practice, and working with aboriginal populations.

CSSW 1122

Interviewing and Counselling Skills

This methods course emphasizes the development of versatility in working with individuals in social service settings. Students will explore and apply interviewing and counselling skills for information gathering, relationship development, goal setting, and problem solving. Students will reflect on their interactions with others and explore ways to promote self-determination and empowerment. Self-awareness will be emphasized as a critical prerequisite for effective helping. Understanding of culture, diversity, and worldview will be viewed as essential elements for understanding and responding to clients.

CSSW 1200

Introduction to Social Welfare

This course provides an introduction to the development of social welfare policy in Canada. Social and human rights reactions to social problems in general will be examined, as well as poverty and economic disadvantage in particular. The role of the social worker in influencing policy development, including working to change the structures that currently exist, will be explored. The methods of forming social policy at the legislative and grassroots level will be considered.

CSSW 1221

Wellness: Self and Professional Practice

This course emphasizes a developmental approach to self-care and self-awareness in professional practice. It provides students with a framework to explore and apply wellness themes. Strategies to prevent and manage workload stress will be explored. Students will learn to use reflective writing as a tool for personal wellness and professional practice.

CSSW 1222

Working with Groups

This course is designed to assist students to develop their understanding of group dynamics and to gain skills that will enable them to be more effective leaders and participants in groups. Students will have the opportunity to explore and apply the skills of group participation, design and facilitation. Models that promote empowerment, mutual aid, and self-awareness will be explored. Strategies for identifying and overcoming obstacles that commonly arise in groups will be examined. Evaluation of group outcomes will be discussed.

CSSW 1223

Inner City Social Service Work

This course emphasizes an understanding of the specialized work performed by social service workers in the inner city. Students will examine the unique needs of clients in neighborhoods such as the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, as well as the urban core of other cities such as Surrey and New Westminster. The impact of issues such as poverty, addiction, discrimination, sex trade, health, homelessness and housing will be explored, as well as services needed to address these issues. Students will have the opportunity to explore both myths and realities of life in the inner city.

CSSW 1240

Practicum I

This course provides opportunities for students at a beginning level to practice skills in selected sites under supervision. Students will integrate and reflect upon their educational, personal and professional experiences in practicum and seminar.

CSSW 2322

Community Practice: Employment

In this course, students will examine the process of employment counselling based on four areas of focus: job loss, career planning, job search skills, and life skills. Students will have an opportunity to develop the practical skills necessary to assist people to make career transitions and to obtain employment. They will also examine the social and psychological effects of unemployment.

CSSW 2333

Families: Change and Development

In this course students examine families from a systems perspective. Starting with students’ own families, participants are offered tools to use in understanding and reflecting on their own family experience and its impact on professional practice. The concepts of family strengths, diversity, natural support networks, community, social context and culture are examined. Emphasis is placed on the collaborative and supportive roles that social service workers have with families.

CSSW 2340

Practicum II

This course provides opportunities for students to build on their practice skills from Practicum I in selected sites under supervision. Students will integrate and reflect upon their educational, personal and professional experiences in practicum and seminar.

CSSW 2363

Community Practice: Mental Health

This course explores the values, attitudes, knowledge and skills required to understand mental illness and promote recovery of individuals in the community who have mental disorders. Students will have opportunities to explore the nature of mental illness through the eyes of individuals who have experienced mental health problems. Students will learn about the causes, symptoms and treatment of mental illness. Community resources and an overview of mental health services will be discussed together with an exploration of the role of social service worker in working with persons who have mental disorders.

CSSW 2422

Specialized Interventions

This methods course offers students an opportunity to further develop their practice skills and knowledge introduced in earlier CSSW courses. Students will examine evidence based best practice strategies in a variety of practice situations. Students will further refine their interviewing and counselling skills using a variety of theoretical approaches. The use of supervisory relationships will be explored as a tool for professional development.

CSSW 2433

Families in Community Context

Building on the course content in CSSW 2333, Families: Change and Development, students will examine critical issues families and communities may encounter, including child abuse and partner violence, legalities involved in separation and divorce, child custody, fostering, addictions, illness, multiculturalism and First Nations’ families. Students will explore the role of the social service worker in providing support, assessment and referrals to families requiring services.

CSSW 2440

Practicum III

This course provides opportunities for students to build on their practice skills from Practicum I and Practicum II in selected sites under supervision. Students will integrate and reflect upon their educational, personal and professional experiences in practicum and seminar.

CSSW 2462


This course is designed to provide students with an overview of practice and policy issues in applied gerontology. The emphasis is on the role of social service workers assisting older adults and/or their families in home, community, or residential care settings. The learner will recognize the normal challenges and changes experienced by aging Canadians, examine their own aging process and become more familiar with current theories and principles in working with seniors in a multicultural society. Larger political and legislative forces will be examined in terms of how they impact services.