The Social Service Worker Gerontology Program at St. Clair College was established in recognition of the need to educate and train professionals to provide frontline services and supports to older adults and their families. The program falls within the scope of practice of the profession of Social Service Work, governed by the Social Work and Social Services Act (1998). The SSWG program promotes the values, ethics, practice and conduct standards for Social Service Work set out in the Ontario College of Social Work and Social Service Worker's Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
This two year diploma prepares students with the foundational knowledge and core skills required to work in the diverse and challenging field of eldercare. Theories relevant to understanding the aging process and the needs of seniors are emphasized. Program content includes interpersonal communication, case management, interviewing, group work intervention, diversity, advocacy, social justice, and community practice. In addition, a number of specialized courses such as Activation and Restorative Care, Recreation, Leisure and Therapeutic Program Planning, Dementia Care, Death, Dying, Grief and Bereavement and Volunteer Management expand the knowledge and skill base of students beyond traditional social service worker roles. Students who successfully complete the Social Services Worker Gerontology diploma and the block field placement are eligible for registration with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW).
As our population ages, new and emerging job opportunities in the field of gerontology are on the horizon. Graduates may work in a range of settings that provide services to seniors such as retirement and long term care facilities, health and recreation programs, private home support services, adult day programs, dementia programs, elder abuse services, seniors' centres, and entrepreneurial initiatives.
Employers who provide our field placement settings require a CLEAR POLICE RECORD CHECK for criminal offenses with vulnerable sector screening before accepting a student into the field placement setting. The record check MUST be obtained by the student at the student's expense prior to the commencement of field placement in semester four. Information and details about applying for a police clearance will be provided to the student prior to placement.
Students must submit proof of a satisfactory medical examination and up-to-date immunization records prior to beginning clinical/field placement in semester four. Lack of documented health records and immunizations may result in the restriction of clinical/field placement and therefore may delay and/or prevent completion of the program.
Flu shots are strongly recommended. Students without flu shots may be temporarily prohibited from participating in placement in residential and long term care settings should flu outbreaks occur.
For programs with Experiential Learning (Work Placement/Internship): Costs for accommodation, if needed, travel and related expenses is at the student's own expense. It is recommended for most programs, that students have access to a laptop or desktop computer while away from home during experiential learning periods.