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Social Service Worker - Gerontology

Available: Fall

Program Description

The Social Service Worker – Gerontology program integrates the knowledge base, professional values and skill-sets of social service work with a specific concentration on the needs, challenges and concerns of Canada's aging population. The program focuses on a holistic and strength-based approach to help aging clients maintain a good quality of life. As a student, you will have the opportunity to develop skills such as program planning; individual and group modes of facilitation; interventions with clients, their families and significant others; case management; interpersonal communication and skills related to working with bereavement and grief. You will also benefit from a very substantial fieldwork placement component, which starts in the second semester and runs through the third and fourth semesters.

Your studies in the Social Service Worker – Gerontology program include opportunities to engage in personal change and growth, to work cohesively as a member of a team, to integrate and apply professional ethics, to meet deadlines, to manage personal issues that might arise and to successfully achieve the learning outcomes of the various subjects. The College offers a variety of supports to assist you in this self– directed learning environment where you are ultimately responsible for your personal success. Be prepared to spend 20 or more hours each week working on assignments, etc.

Graduates tell us important factors for success in SSWG are: study skills, time management, class attendance and participation, taking personal responsibility for the outcomes of one's actions, minimizing the number of hours that might be occupied by part-time employment and the ability to deal constructively with the stresses of a busy life.

Field Work

Field work is a valuable opportunity to gain work experience while meeting the learning outcomes of the SSWG program. You will work in a professional capacity, with specified job responsibilities, record keeping evaluations, time management requirements, contracted hours of work, expectations of teamwork and appropriate interpersonal interaction. You will be evaluated on the basis of an approved three–part learning contract as agreed by you, the approved fieldwork agency and the Seneca SSWG program.

Fieldwork days are typically:

  • The equivalent of two full days per week in semesters two, three and four
  • Full week block placements as scheduled throughout the program duration.

Students typically have one placement at a residential setting and one placement at a community agency which provides services to seniors.

A Seneca professor will assist you in the selection and approval of a fieldwork placement, though the final contract will be your responsibility. This experience will help you develop job-search skills while in the supportive environment of the program. All fieldwork placements must be approved by the college.

Provincial Registration

In order to practice in Ontario as a "Social Service Worker" or a "Registered Social Service Worker", graduates must apply for registration in the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). Graduates of the SSWG program will meet the education requirement for registration. For more information, please visit



4 Semesters (2 Years)

Credential Awarded

Ontario College Diploma

Your Career

Demand for skilled and knowledgeable professionals to work in a helping capacity with seniors is increasing as Canada's population ages. The Social Service Worker – Gerontology (SSWG) diploma prepares graduates to provide community services and products to seniors with a wide range of physical, psychological, social and financial challenges. After four semesters, you may find fulfilling employment opportunities with agency providers of seniors' services such as government agencies, not-for-profit agencies, for-profit agencies and private individuals. You may also find a wide range of employment opportunities in many different levels, including coordination of home support services (e.g., meals on wheels, transportation, friendly visiting, congregate dining, homemaker services and telephone reassurance), work in programs for people with dementia, activation coordination, supportive housing coordination and coordination of volunteer programs. Some graduates have started their own businesses. Advocating for and empowering seniors to achieve their goals is an important aspect of all these employment possibilities. Graduates of the SSWG program are eligible for registration with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW).

Related Careers


This Seneca program has been validated by the Credential Validation Service as an Ontario College Credential as required by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Grade 12 English: ENG4(C) or ENG4(U)
  • OR Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the above prerequisite course(s), their equivalent(s) or appropriate Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate program credits (see Academic Upgrading).

Prior to Field Placement

A current Police Vulnerable Sector screening:

  • Applicants living in the city of Toronto can expect to wait a minimum of 8-12 weeks to receive a Police Check.
  • A flu shot and TB test are required for placement at long-term care facilities.

Program Costs

Choose academic year:

Tuition – Domestic


Tuition – International


Book & Supply Costs


Please note: All costs are approximate, may vary by campus and are subject to change at any time without notice. Parking, locker and some mandatory incidental fees are among the charges not included in the figures above.

Program Details

The Degree and Credit Transfer Office provides a number of services for students continuing their education at Seneca, and for graduating students considering degree transfer options.

Through transfer agreements and institution partnerships, graduates of this Seneca College program may be eligible for credit at various post-secondary institutions. Please refer to the Degree Transfer Guide for more information.

Transfer Credit may be granted for courses deemed equivalent to courses at Seneca that have been completed at recognized postsecondary institutions. Additional information is available online.

Students who successfully complete this diploma program with a minimum 3.0 GPA, may be considered for admission into the 5th semester of the Honours Bachelor of Community Mental Health program, after a bridge semester in the summer.

Please take a few moments to view Important Academic Dates for your relevant term.

Please select the curriculum from the Academic Year in which you started (or will be starting) your studies. An Academic Year begins in September and ends in August of the following year.

Also see: English and General Education requirements.


Need to know more about your application and/or the application process? Reach out to our admissions advisors for assistance.

416.491.5050 ext. 55013

Student Recruitment

Have questions about Seneca’s campuses, financial aid, student supports and more? Connect with one of our student recruiters for more information or to book a campus tour.

416.491.5050 ext. 22608
Additional Contacts
Financial Aid & Awards

Program Coordinator

Michele Green 416.491.5050 ext. 55448

Program Chair

Biljana Bruce 416.491.5050 ext. 55002

Why Choose Seneca?

Passionate, expert faculty from a range of professions

Real-world learning experiences through paid and non-paid work opportunities

Curriculums developed in collaboration with industry advisory committees

A variety of credentials offered from certificates, diplomas, degrees, and graduate certificates

Opportunities to pathway to higher level credentials at Seneca and other universities in our transfer partnership network