Community Services Worker graduate, Chiman, poses with her instructor, Bryan Coker at the Herzing College Ottawa campus
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Updated November, 2020.
Considering a career in healthcare, but don't want to invest time and money in a university degree? What are your training options?
Actually, there are many alternatives in Ottawa. The city is home to several colleges, offering a range of quick, practical healthcare diploma programs.
Finding a program isn't difficult. The real challenge is deciding which healthcare program best fits your personality, natural strengths, and career goals.
Which path should you take?
Counselling people in need is a big part of the community services worker (CSW) job description. Imagine you're working at a women's shelter, child foster care program, or addiction centre—helping individuals and families work through really difficult issues, and find healthy ways to move forward.
Community services workers (CSWs) help people dealing with serious personal and social problems. But this career is about so much more than that.
CSWs work with some of the most neglected, forgotten, and stigmatized people in our society.
From teens dealing with addiction, to homeless populations, to battered women, to ex-offenders: community services workers are trained to offer compassionate, practical, hands-on support where it's needed most.
There is no doubt that this work is challenging. But it's also incredibly rewarding and inspiring. Right on the front-lines of our neighborhoods, CSWs literally change and save lives on a daily basis.
A group of Community Services Worker students at Herzing College Ottawa
What will your life look like after community services worker (CSW) training? Where will you work, and who will you work with?
This is, obviously, a key question for anyone considering a career in community services.
Our goal in this post is to give you a clearer idea of your options and opportunities as a freshly graduated CSW.
Updated December, 2020
What's drawing you to a career in social work?
Some of our students have experienced the Canadian community services system first-hand—and are inspired to pay forward the help they received.
Others feel a strong sense of social justice, and want a career that focuses on improving the society we live in.
And we often train students who have a particular goal in mind—like working specifically with neglected children, mothers escaping domestic abuse, or new immigrants who need help adjusting to life in Canada.
If you're not totally sure which career path you would choose, or if community services worker training is right for you, take a few minutes to think about your mindset, motivations, and professional goals.
By the end of this post, you'll have a much clearer idea of whether you should pursue training (plus some handy links and steps for what to do next).