Addictions & Community Services Worker

Addictions and Community Services Workers hold professional and paraprofessional jobs in a diverse range of settings such as child, youth, and family social service agencies, and programs concerned specifically with alcoholism, drug abuse, family violence, and the aged.

Students in the 44-week program will gain a fundamental understanding of psychology, pharmacology, ethics, and communications. They also learn about the fundamentals of addiction and its impact on high risk populations, youth and families. Students will also learn about case file management, treatment planning, and various community resources available to clients with addiction and mental health issues in Alberta.

Prior to graduation, students partake in a mandatory field placement where they will apply and adapt the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in the real-world situations. Graduates of this program will be prepared to work in a range of social service settings in the province.

Interested in becoming a social services worker? Find out about the Addictions & Community Services Worker program at Reeves College and get started on a rewarding career path.

This program is 44 weeks in length.

Job Opportunities

  • Group Homes
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Community Mental Health Centres
"My practicum gave me a chance to use the skills I learned at college. It also gave me the confidence to know that I can make it in a professional setting.” – Andrea P., Reeves College Graduate

Program Courses

Code Course description
CES4Career and Employment Strategies
Students will have the use of our Job Search lab which has unlimited access to the Internet, a job search resource library, fax machine and a phone for contacting prospective employers with their resumes. Facilitators will also be made available to advise on job finding resources, interview skills and techniques, and to carry out mock interviews. Students will review core program concepts and learning in order to market their skills effectively.
CFMOCase File Management & Report Writing
This subject deals with preparing social work-related written reports to communicate the progress of a client. The student will be introduced to various methods of recording information, along with the requirements for various entries to a file within the parameters of legal and ethical requirements. Basic computer skills are further developed through a series of assignments. Topics include reasons for record-keeping, the mechanics of recording and dictating, summary recording, confidentiality: physically safeguarding case records, general rules around documenting, case conference process, and more.
CMFOCommunications Fundamentals
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. Topics include human communication, perception and self, language, non-verbal communication, public communication, organization and support, presenting your message, informative speaking, persuasive speaking, understanding and improving interpersonal relationships, and more.
ECR4Ethics
This subject is designed to provide the student with a framework in which to view helping functions and related skills in a systematic manner. The subject concentrates on the helper’s task of becoming a more aware and effective person. The emphasis is on empowering others to help themselves through the development of communication and coping skills. Topics include reasons for students seeking a career in the helping profession; practical strategies for ensuring quality experiences in fieldwork and supervision stages of the helping process; common problems at work in regards to resistance, transference, counter transference and difficult clients; ethical awareness and learning for helpers; value and belief systems of helpers; one’s role in the community as a helper; stress and burnout; and more.
ACWFXFinal Comprehensive Examination
This four-hour multiple choice exam is based on all 16 core skills courses.
PCGOPsychology
This subject provides the student with a basic knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts that can be applied in the subjects that follow. Subjects include Introduction to Psychology, History of Psychology, Biology and Behaviour, States of Consciousness, Learning, Developmental Psychology, Motivation and Emotion, Psychological Disorders, Therapies, and more.
ITPOIntroduction to Intake Procedures & Treatment Planning
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 & 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 module 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.
IVWOInterviewing Techniques
This subject will assist the student to define communication skills and demonstrate how to use them effectively in many types of situations. A group of core communication skills is essential to any interview, whether it takes place in counselling, nursing, social work, personnel work, or information gathering. Topics include introduction to structured and unstructured interviewing; focusing and following; effective inquiry; reflective feeling; reflecting content; developing an individualized style; communicating feeling and immediacy; confrontation skills and enlisting cooperation; self-disclosing; information giving; structuring for information and action; and more.
GFC4Group Facilitation Concepts
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. Topics include the role of techniques; getting groups established; and techniques for the initial, transition, working, and final stage.
CRNOCommunity Resources & Networking
The goal of an Addictions Worker is to accurately assess the client’s needs and provide the most appropriate referral in an ethical manner. This subject establishes a framework to assess needs and explores the various services available in the community. This is accomplished by guiding the student through a series of assignments to enhance evaluation skills and knowledge. Topics include learning about various community resources in the local community, addiction treatment centres, the John Howard Society, the Elizabeth Fry Society, correctional facilities, multicultural organizations, detox centres, assessment centres, local counselling services, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and more.
FOAOFundamentals of Addiction
This subject provides the foundation for further in-depth subjects in the study of addiction. The basic pharmacological nature and effects of a range of psychoactive chemicals are presented with an emphasis on challenging the myths of which chemicals cost society the most in terms of economic costs and social burden of human suffering. Specific target populations are explored, focusing on women, children, adolescents, ethnic minorities, elderly, the disabled, and those suffering from mental illness. Assessment, intervention strategies, and treatment options are presented along with the most common problems encountered during treatment.
PRMOFundamentals of Pharmacology
This subject provides basic drug information including the basic pharmacological nature and effects of a range of psychoactive chemicals. Students will build knowledge relating drug treatments/usage to various body systems and associated states of disease. Subjects include General Principles of Pharmacology; Drug Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, and Excretion; Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Certain Drugs; Drugs and the Digestive System/Vitamins and Minerals; Conduction and Neurotransmission; and more.
PRVOPreventive Health Promotion
The student is introduced to various health and relationship concerns that are relevant in chemically dependent individuals. The student will learn to evaluate the effectiveness of program delivery and begin to create new ideas for promoting healthier lifestyle choices within a range of settings and diverse populations.
RPIORelapse Prevention & Intervention
This subject will provide the student with an understanding of relapse as a natural part of the recovery process. The student will study a range of strategies and techniques to assist in minimizing and preventing the effects of prolonged periods of relapse during the journey of recovery. Students are guided through the entire relapse process by considering the application of some basic principles introduced in the Centre for Applied Behavioural Research (CENAPS) Model of Treatment.
SCTOSecondary Traumatic Stress
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. Topics include the Definition of Secondary Traumatic Stress and Stress Disorders; Counter Transference and Burnout; Self-Care for Trauma Counsellors; Vicarious Traumatisation; The Importance of the Professional Peer Group; Personal Sorting Styles; Ethical Issues Associated with Secondary Trauma in Counsellors; Moderating Secondary Traumatic Stress Through; Administrative and Policy Action; and more.
SSS4Student Success Strategies
Students will gain a better understanding of themselves through an exploration of their personal attributes, transferable skills and learning styles. This course will introduce techniques for time, conflict, and stress management and develop interpersonal communication skills. Fundamental study and motivation skills will be covered, preparing students to excel in their program of choice. Students will also prepare a professional resume and learn how to write effective cover letters.
WFM4Working with Families
This subject will provide students with an overview of how addiction can impact the family unit. Understanding the family reaction is critical to providing caring support to the recovering addict and their loved ones. A recovery program that does not address issues of co-dependency may increase the likelihood of persistent patterns of relapse for both the addict and their family.
HRPOHigh Risk Populations
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 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 their understanding of these various populations within the human services field.
AB-ACW-PRWork Experience
This program includes eight weeks (300 hours) of practicum.
YOU4Youth Issues
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.
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