Addictions & Community Support Worker Diploma Summary
The Addictions and Community Support Worker Diploma program fosters the confidence graduates need to start a rewarding new career providing support to those struggling with challenging circumstances. Students are empowered with the skills needed to become front-line workers supporting individuals, families, and communities experiencing a variety of adversities. The program provides learning opportunities that will challenge students to reach their full potential and expand their perspectives. A mandatory practicum placement allows students to apply their education and skills in a real-world setting before transitioning to the workplace.
Students determine the ways they want to learn their course material
Instructors use a variety of teaching methods to keep classes dynamic and interesting
Various Satisfying Careers
Students have a wide variety of career options so they can choose the most rewarding one
- Community Support Worker
- Family Support Worker
- Correctional Facility Support
- Substance Treatment Centre Support
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Addictions & Community Support Worker Diploma Description
Work in the field of community support services is incredibly rewarding. Professionals often express a significant level of job/work satisfaction from the impact and overall difference their work can make in someone's life. Addictions and community support workers hold professional jobs in a wide range of settings including but not limited to, group homes, outreach services, residential treatment facilities, domestic violence shelters, and many other not-for-profit and social service agencies.
The Addictions and Community Service Worker Diploma at ABM College provides students with the communication and technical skills needed to work in the community and assist those who suffer from personal, social, and/or substance issues. Students will learn how to assess clients’ emotional or health related needs, and to develop action plans to support those clients.
Students will explore topics such as the impacts of stigma, basic concepts of psychology, concurrent disorder and mental health concerns, abuse and violence, vulnerable populations, the effects of trauma throughout the lifespan, crisis interventions, and addiction treatment approaches. With knowledge of these core concepts of the helping profession, graduates of the program are prepared and ready to provide the crucial support their future clients deserve.
Students must meet ONE of these criteria*:
Alberta High School Diploma or equivalent with minimum score of 65% in English 30-1 on verified transcript
General Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.), plus completed English 30-1 or equivalent with score of 65% or higher, successful interview with ABM College Administration, and if student’s first language is not English, Canadian Language Benchmark of 6 with SLE Language Evaluation Test (Accuplacer)
*All students must provide a clear criminal record check prior to commencing practicum.
Students must meet ALL of these criteria*:
1. At least 18 years of age prior to admission
2. Score of 20 or higher on Entrance Exam (Scholastic Wonderlic)
3. Completed English 30-1 or equivalent with minimum score of 65%
4. Successful interview with ABM College Administration
5. If student’s first language is not English, Canadian Language Benchmark of 6 with SLE Language Evaluation Test (Accuplacer)
*All students must provide a clear criminal record check prior to commencing practicum.
"Being a student at ABM College was so challenging but also rewarding. This program not only educated me on how to help others but it taught me the confidence that I needed to be good in school. On top of that, I made good friends. Thank you for giving me this amazing boost in the right direction and for making me a better person."
"The instructors are highly trained and knowledgeable on the courses/subjects that they teach. Management is also very helpful, and they are always there to answer any questions that students might be having. Thank you ABM for your support."
Addictions & Community Support Worker Course Components
A) Introduction to Psychology – Provides students with a basic knowledge of psychology terminology and concepts that can be applied in the real world.
B) Lifespan Development – Discusses the developmental stages of the human lifespan. Students will learn about the problems associated with each stage of our lifespan from infancy into late adulthood.
C) Introduction to Mental Health – Students will learn about the principles of mental health and behaviour assessment.
A) The Negative Impacts of Stigma — Students examine the current and historical views of addiction and the damaging misconceptions which have had significant negative impacts.
B) Pharmacology — Concentrates on the basic pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of psychoactive drugs (illicit and legal) and their effects on the mind and body.
C) Drug Policy and the Law — Examining the historical roots of the racially oppressive ideologies which created drug policy, the impacts of which are still causing great harm to those who engage with substance use will be discussed in this section of the course.
D) Models of Addictions — Focusing on traditional theoretical understanding of addictive behaviour, this course explores the question of why some individuals develop serious, life-altering dependency issues and others do not.
E) Working in the Field of Addictions — Students study the work, the ethics, and the core competencies professionals must uphold in order to support their clients and not hinder.
A) High Risk Populations — Students learn the definition of what it means to belong to one of the vulnerable populations in society what that experience looks like.
B) Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault/Child Abuse — Students discuss the impacts domestic violence takes on survivors of abuse in all forms (physical, emotional, financial, etc.) and the disturbing intersection to child abuse.
C) First Nations/Seniors/LGBT/Persons with Disabilities — Highlights the ageist, homophobic, and prejudice attitudes still embedded in the minds of individuals but also in the institutions we live in.
D) Experiencing Homelessness — Students will gain a deeper understanding of the factors which contribute to someone experiencing homelessness and the importance of treating all members of society with dignity and respect.
A) The Practice of Self Care — Students will learn the self-care skills within the profession of support work, without attention to the needs of oneself, we become a disservice to the client we encounter.
B) Trauma — Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the factors associated with trauma response to include psychosocial, psychical, cognitive, affective and behavioural responses.
C) Grief and Loss — Discusses approaches to supporting others through the grieving process in order to overcome their loss.
D) Crisis Intervention — Students will gain confidence in their ability to recognize, assess, and support crisis situations and be familiar with appropriate intervention strategies. Suicide prevention models, including the use of psychological first aid strategies, will also be explored.
A) Family Dynamics — Completion of this module will prepare students with knowledge of common dysfunctional family dynamics, an overview of common family therapy approaches, and a firsthand look at the use of Genograms.
B) Addictions and Families — This course will explore the implications of substance use on families and the special considerations that need to be addressed when working with clients and the importance of including their families in the process.
C) Working with Youth — There are special considerations one must consider when working with an individual’s underage, and students will learn the skills to do so effectively in this course.
D) Issues Youth Face — This module will discuss several common challenges youth face in today's society. LGBT, Self Harm, Human Trafficking, Eating Disorder, Youth Criminal Justice, and Addiction are just some of the issues youth can find themselves struggling with. Students will gain insight into these topics and review current support approaches in the profession, preparing them for working with youth in their future careers.
A) Understanding Values — Students learn how to build an awareness of the values which shape us and allow us to work with clients in ethically driven and supportive ways.
B) The Helping Professions — Students are introduced to various methods of documenting required of all helping professionals working with clients.
C) Communications Strategies and Professional Practice — This subject helps students in working effectively in a professional relationship. Topics include general communications, language, public communication, informative speaking, persuasive speaking, non-verbal communication and more.
D) The Helping Process — Exploring theory and understanding of how to best provide support to clients, this course will provide students with a closer look at what it means to be empathetic, how giving advice is never effective, and the ways in which one establishes the most essential piece of this work, building relationships with our clients.
A) Intake Procedures and Assessment Tools — Students will gain an understanding of how agencies approach the inclusion of a client in their organization. Finding the right fit for both the client and agency is an important aspect of success in recovery in which they will work in the future.
B) Stages of Change/SMART Goals — Supporting the growth of clients often involves helping them to recognize and change behaviours that are causing them harm. This section of the course describes some of the tools which often get implemented in the work with clients in this profession.
C) Treatment Planning — Helps students understand the role and purpose of the support worker in the intake procedure and treatment planning. Students will also go over the challenges that they may come across during this process.
D) Forms of Treatment — Covers the different types of treatment available for clients.
A) Relapse Prevention — Students explore the reasons for, and the most accepted forms to help prevent, the very common experience of relapse in the recovery process.
B) Intervention and Rehabilitation — Students develop the knowledge and skills to assist in minimizing and preventing the effects of prolonged periods of relapse during the journey of recovery.
C) Motivational Interviewing — Students learn strategies to motivate clients during interviews throughout the recovery and treatment process.
D) Prevention Strategies — Students learn strategies to help clients prevent relapse during recovery and treatment.
A) Client Interviewing Techniques — Students learn to demonstrate how to effectively communicate with clients in many types of situations through role play and field work. Students will also be introduced to a diverse range of interviewing techniques.
B) Role Plays — Students will role play the supportive process, including working with groups and providing resources.
This module will provide students with the computer skills needed to work in an office environment. Students will go through keyboarding, internet use, and Microsoft applications, providing them with the abilities employers are seeking.
A 4-week practicum placement occurs at the end of the program, allowing students to apply their new learning in a real-life context where they can practice and perfect their skills, giving them a smooth transition into the workplace.
Course Description: This course helps students explore and understand the role of communication in professional business settings. Attention is given to workplace culture, interpersonal and team communication, technology, professional presentations, research, meetings, and professional writing grounded in communication and business theory.
Students work with a professional career counsellor to develop and optimize a professional resume to put forward for employers. Additional support in job searching, interview techniques, and other career transition skills are offered to ensure students have the best possible work prospects.