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Addictions and Community Services Worker

Program Info

Working with people suffering from drug or alcohol addiction is a challenging and rewarding career path. Vancouver Career College's Addictions and Community Services Worker program prepares students to enter the growing field of community care.

The program teaches the fundamentals of addiction, human psychology, relapse prevention and the physical effects of substance abuse. Students also gain practical skills such as working with families and group facilitation techniques.

The 44-week program also teaches community support techniques such as dealing with special needs patients and domestic violence.

Job Opportunities
  • Child and Youth Services
  • Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centres
  • Family Social Service Agencies
  • Group Homes
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Community Mental Health Centres
“I chose the college because it was highly recommended for being hired for any job. I liked the teachers. They were qualified teachers who knew what they were teaching. Also, the practicum helped me get a good job. I’m now doing a job that I love and it’s the right career for me. I am very happy doing what I really love … caring for people!” - Karen V., Vancouver Career College Graduate
Program Courses

The program outline below is for British Columbia.

Code Course Name Hours
  • PCGE Psychology 50

    • This subject provides the student with a basic knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts including history of psychology, biology and behaviour, states ofconsciousness, learning, developmental psychology, motivation and emotion, psychological disorders and therapies.
  • CFME Case File Management and Report Writing 25

    • This subject deals with preparing social work-related writtenreports to communicate the progress of a client. The studentwill be introduced to various methods of recordinginformation, along with the requirements for various entriesto a file within the parameters of legal and ethicalrequirements. Basic computer skills are further developedthrough a series of assignments.
  • ATPE Introduction to Intake Procedures and Treatment Planning 50

    • This course focuses on developing students’ understanding of the intake and planning processes. Our graduates work in a broad range of settings across the social services and therefore encounter of a wide variety of standardized and in-house intake and psychometric tools. In light of this, Introduction to Intake Procedures and Treatment Planning centers on developing portable and universal “hands-on” skills in interviewing and planning so that our graduates have a solid practical basis from which to start. This module helps the student understand the role of the support worker in intake procedures and treatment planning. Furthermore, the course helps the student understand the purpose of intake and treatment planning, as well as the professional challenges support workers might encounter while doing these tasks.
  • CMFE Communications Fundamentals 50

    • This subject provides a comprehensive study of effective communication skills and techniques the student will use⎯both professionally and personally. The subject will sharpen skills to work effectively in a professional helping relationship. Students will also learn how to conduct an effective job search and how to continue their development as an Addictions Worker.
  • ECRE Ethics 50

    • This subject is designed to provide the student with aframework in which to view helping functions and relatedskills in a systematic manner. The subject concentrates onthe helper’s task of becoming a more aware and effectiveperson. The emphasis is on empowering others to helpthemselves through the development of communication andcoping skills.
  • GFCE Group Facilitation Concepts 50

    • This subject will provide the student with an overview of the nature of group work in a social service setting and an opportunity to explore relevant techniques and exercises designed to enhance group work.
  • CRNE Community Resources and Networking 25

    • The goal of an Addictions Worker is to accurately assess theclient’s needs and provide the most appropriate referral in anethical manner. This subject establishes a framework toassess needs and explores the various services available inthe community. This is accomplished by guiding the studentthrough a series of assignments to enhance evaluation skillsand knowledge.
  • ITSE Interviewing Techniques 50

    • This subject will assist the student to define communicationskills and demonstrate how to use them effectively in manytypes of situations. A group of core communication skills isessential to any interview, whether it takes place incounselling, nursing, social work, personnel work, orinformation gathering.
  • FOAE Fundamentals of Addiction 100

    • This subject provides the foundation for further in-depthsubjects in the study of addiction. The basic pharmacologicalnature and effects of a range of psychoactive chemicals arepresented, with an emphasis on challenging the myths ofwhich chemicals cost society the most in terms of economiccosts and social burden of human suffering. Specific targetpopulations are explored, focusing on women, children,adolescents, ethnic minorities, elderly, the disabled andthose suffering from mental illness. Assessment,intervention strategies, and treatment options are presented,along with the most common problems encountered duringtreatment.
  • PRME Fundamentals of Pharmacology 25

    • This subject provides basic drug information including thebasic pharmacological nature and effects of a range ofpsychoactive chemicals. Students will build knowledgerelating drug treatments/usage to various body systems andassociated states of disease.
  • PHPE Preventative Health Promotion 50

    • The student is introduced to various health and relationshipconcerns that are relevant in chemically dependentindividuals. The student will learn to evaluate theeffectiveness of program delivery and begin to create newideas for promoting healthier lifestyle choices within a rangeof settings and diverse populations.
  • RPIE Relapse Prevention and Intervention 75

    • This subject will provide the student with an understanding ofrelapse as a natural part of the recovery process. Thestudent will study a range of strategies and techniques toassist in minimizing and preventing the effects of prolongedperiods of relapse during the journey of recovery. Studentsare guided through the entire relapse process by consideringthe application of some basic principles introduced in theCENAPS Model of Treatment (CENAPS is an acronym forCenter for Applied Behavioral Research).
  • STSE Secondary Traumatic Stress 25

    • Secondary traumatic stress results from helping or wanting to help a traumatized or suffering person. Students will gain insight into their personal strengths and weaknesses and will explore methods to prevent/reduce secondary traumatic stress.
  • ISWE Introduction to Software Applications 25

    • This subject educates the student about the software applications that are commonly used in document preparation, report writing, and presentations. The student will learn how to use a computer’s operating system; perform basic file management tasks; use a web browser to explore the Internet and perform searches for information; create, edit, and format documents; and prepare a slide show presentation.
  • WFME Working with Families 50

    • This subject will provide students with an overview of howaddiction can impact the family unit. Understanding thefamily reaction is critical to providing caring support to therecovering addict and their loved ones. A recovery programthat does not address issues of co-dependency mayincrease the likelihood of persistent patterns of relapse forboth the addict and their family.
  • SPNE High Risk Populations 75

    • This course is designed to give students a cursory understanding of the most common high risk populations in Canada. Students must also be aware that this course cannot provide a completely comprehensive understanding of each group. It is intended simply to provide a base level of knowledge, an expanded frame of reference, and practical understanding of how to begin working with these groups in a manner that is respectful and effective. During this course, students will learn about cultural context in general and more specifically how that understanding is applied to each group from a front line perspective. Additionally, students will learn about the most common defining traits and relevant statistical information for each group and how to show respect to that group when working with them. Towards this end, the instructor will combine lecture with class discussion, assignments, videos and speakers to help deepen the understanding of these various populations within the human services field.
  • YOUE Youth Issues 50

    • This course is designed to give students an overview of the issues that our youth are facing in today’s society. The course looks at three general areas of concern related to youth issues. The first part of the course is aimed at describing what is meant by at-risk and who these at-risk youth are. This is essential in order to better understand what the common risk factors that contribute to youth becoming at risk are. Secondly, the student will learn about the different at-risk categories in order to explore the various issues and problems. Finally the course will look at the different intervention, prevention and treatment strategies or models.
  • SSSE Student Success Strategies 25

    • This course will introduce students to skills and concepts that will help them achieve personal, academic, and career success.
  • PSKE Professional Skills 25

    • This course is designed to equip students with interpersonal skills identified by employers as essential for success in the professional world. Using a variety of instructional methods including case studies, group exercises, and discussion, students learn and practice key communication skills.
  • CESE Career and Employment Strategies 25

    • Students will have the use of our Job Search lab which has unlimited Internet access, a job search resource library and a fax machine and phone for contacting prospective employers with your resume. Facilitators will also be made available to advise on job finding resources, interview skills and techniques, and to carry out mock interviews. Students review core program concepts and learning in order to market their skills effectively.
  • EXAM Final Comprehensive Exam 5

    • This 5-hour multiple-choice exam is based on all sixteen Core Skills courses.
  • M6100 Practicum 200

    • This program includes eight weeks (200 hours) of practicum.

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