Heritage College’s Addictions & Community Support Worker certificate program provides students with the skills they need to excel as part of a social assistance or  community service team. Our specially designed express A&CSW certificate program gets you the education you need quicker than other Calgary-area colleges, so you can graduate and start your new career in social work in only 25 weeks.

At Heritage College, you’ll learn from an experienced team of experts in the social work field, and master the skills today’s agencies and programs are looking for. Our instructors share their valuable, real-world knowledge and experience, preparing you to become part of a modern community support team team.

In this program, you’ll learn the practical skills necessary to work within various community programs and services, qualifying graduates for numerous career opportunities in this diverse field. In Alberta, Community Support Workers and Addictions Advisors are employed by social service and government agencies, mental health agencies, group homes, shelters, substance abuse centres, school boards, correctional facilities, and relate organizations. Community support works provide physical, vocational, recreational, social, and emotional support to clients in various combinations. In communities, Community Support Workers support caregivers, social workers and teachers.

The courses offered in this Addictions & Community Support Worker certificate program will lead students in exploring brain development and its connection to addictions and mental health. Students will develop core counselling skills, examine methods of working with groups, and attain strategies for supporting persons living with disabilities. Students will become familiar with family life in Canada and will develop an understanding of physical, emotional, and social development across the
lifespan. Students will additionally become familiar with several diverse and vulnerable populations in Canada and will be exposed to the history and impacts of colonization on Indigenous peoples.

Heritage Career College’s 6-month express Addictions & Community Support Worker program includes five weeks of hands-on work experience in social service agencies and shelters in your hometown. Graduates of our programs receive continuing support from Heritage College’s Career Services department, including help with job searches, resume and LinkedIn profile reviews, and interview preparation. Upon graduation, this certificate will empower students with the confidence and skills needed to become front-line workers supporting individuals, families, and communities experiencing adversity.

Course Overview

Graduates of Heritage College’s Addictions & Community Support Worker program develop the communications and counselling skills needed to support the operations of a variety of social service agencies. Over the length of this 6-month program, students:

  • Gain valuable face-to-face counselling and intervention experience in mock sessions and practicums, including relationship building, applied behaviour analysis and crisis intervention.
  • Study physical, social and emotional development at various stages of life, and develop skills needed to support children, youth, and end-of-life populations.
  • Obtain vital experience with recording and reporting, and learn how to process case notes and incident reports.
  • Explore various vulnerable populations, including women, children, individuals living with disabilities, the LGBTQ+ community, and Indigenous groups.
  • Learn the laws and regulations that govern the practice of social work in Canada

How You'll Learn

Heritage Career College’s Addictions & Community Support Worker certificate program has two delivery methods:

  • In-Class: Either five days a week (evening option) or three days a week (weekend option) at Heritage College’s Sunridge campus.
  • 100% Online: Lectures and theory delivered entirely online, with online assessment.

This program combines lectures, visual aides, hands-on learning via practical exercises, projects, exams and group discussions into an accessible learning experience. Validation of knowledge is done through through exams, practical tests, projects, and practicum evaluation. 


Community Support Workers and Addiction Advisors members of most community support teams. Our graduates can find employment in:

  • Child and Youth Programs
  • Government Agencies
  • Public Schools
  • Rehabilitation and Detoxification Centres
  • Residential Group Homes
  • Community Living Agencies
  • Indigenous Service Agencies
  • Women’s Shelters
  • Correctional Centres
  • Continuing Care Facilities
  • After-School Programs
  • Victim Centres
  • Respite Care

Your job responsibilities will vary depending on the type of employment you find. In most social support agencies, a community support worker is the first point of contact for patients. Our graduates can find work as youth support workers, learning assistants, residential relief workers, teen pregnancy workers, family-school liaison officers, addictions support workers, and mental health support workers.

For more information about the career of medical office assistant, visit alis’ social and community service worker career information page.

Your education is one of the most important decisions you make in your life. It’s an investment in your future, and it can pay you back in dividends. 

At Heritage College, we work with you to ensure you can afford the education you need to transform your life. We have helped many students get financial aid, and our team is ready to help you make the right decisions for your future as well.

Our admissions team will work with you to determine the options that best fit your own personal financial needs and situation. Our Addictions & Community Support Worker is eligible for Canada Student Loans, other forms of government funding, and scholarships. We can advise you on Alberta Student Aid, Saskatchewan Student Loans, personal lines of credit, RESPs, and our own in-house student financing. We work with you to ensure you are securely funded before you start your program, so you start your program confident you will be able to see it through to the end.

You can visit our Tuition and Financial Aid page for more information on how we can help you afford your education. Please also visit our Scholarships and Grants Page for information about current financial aid opportunities exclusive to Heritage College students.

The Addictions & Community Support Worker certificate program at Heritage College is an approved Vocational Program licensed by Alberta Advanced Education.

A community support worker engaging with a client

Upcoming Start Dates

January 22, 2023 - Weekend Online
March 12, 2023 - Weekend Online
April 30, 2023 - Weekend Online
June 11, 2023 - Weekend Online

Course Length

25 Weeks

700 Total Hours
520 Theory | 180 Practicum

Course Offered


Earn an average wage of

$22.50 an hour


Fill out the form below for your FREE information package.

Or call us today at


Untitled (11 x 8.5 in)(15)

Why Heritage?

No high school diploma? No problem!

Heritage College does not require a high school diploma for our mature admissions pathway. There is no English proficiency test required for this program beyond our Wonderlic Skills Test and our admissions interview.

You can find additional information about our admission requirements on our Admissions Page

Practicum Requirements

Addictions & Community Support Worker certificate program students complete a 5-week, 180-hour hands-on work experience at a social service agency, support centre, or shelter.

To take part in this practicum, students must meet the following requirements:

Graduation Requirements

To successfully graduate from the Addictions & Community Support Worker certificate program, students must:

What our grads say...

Fantastic, amazing and experienced instructors and staff assist students by providing best quality for study environment and commitment to the students.

Amazing college! The teachers are incredibly intelligent and caring to the students. The class sizes are small, so it's easy to connect with your teachers and fellow classmates.​

I'm glad I made the right choice to join the class. Best teachers, good class size, hands-on experience... very good!

Community support worker helping an ederly client


Fill out the following form and one of our Admissions Advisers will get in contact with you to answer any questions you have.

or call us today at


This is only an outline of our Addictions & Community Support Worker program. For more information about our curriculum, please contact our admissions advisers.

This course will introduce students to the basic principles of the Microsoft Office Suite, which will be used by students both in their studies and in their daily jobs in the community support field. This course is divided into the following modules:

  1. Windows Introduction
  2. Microsoft Word
  3. Microsoft Excel
  4. Microsoft PowerPoint
  5. Microsoft Outlook

Students will attain a concise yet thorough understanding of brain development and its connection to addiction and mental health. Students will learn that lifelong health is determined by more than just our genes and will understand how experiences at sensitive periods of development change the brain in ways that increase or decrease one’s risk for later physical and mental illness, including addiction. Students will also engage in group activities and individual projects to support their learning, integrating additional material essential to the industry.

In this course, students will complete the three most frequently required certifications in the industry: First Aid and CPR Level C; Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST); and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (NCI).

This course will introduce students to various communication and interpersonal skills. Students will learn the basics of report writing in a CSW environment, including in-house reports like assessments, case notes, progress notes, and incident reports. Students learn to write concisely and objectively, using appropriate language. Students will also learn proper formatting and content for CSW letters and emails.

Students will become familiar with the CASW Code of Ethics and ACSW Standards of Practice. Students will gain insight into the legislation governing the profession’s regulation and other social policies, as well as the legal implications of their counselling. Students will explore ethical dilemmas and the use of ethical principles to guide their workplace decisions.

In this course, students will learn about the risks associated with working in a helping profession, including Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma. Students will learn the importance of boundaries and scope of practice and explore the imperative practice of self-care. Students will identify ways to engage in meaningful self-care and create a toolbox of strategies for managing stress.

Students will learn core counselling skills and ways to use them effectively. Students will become familiar with the Stages of Change and the stages of the counselling relationship. Students will explore their personal and professional self as a catalyst for effective counselling and how they can hinder change in their clients. Students will practice their skills through mock counselling sessions.

This course will introduce students to the basic principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Students will explore how behaviour is assessed and the various intervention techniques often employed with children with autism and other special needs. Students will become familiar with the applications of ABA in behavioural education and will understand how ABA can be applied across a wide variety of everyday situations. Students will additionally learn about ADLs and IADLs. Students will explore notions of ‘supporting’ versus ‘helping’ and strategies for both.

Students will learn the basics of Human Services, including the history of practice and today’s theories and models. Students will hone the skills needed to be a successful practitioner while understanding ways to empower clients and serve the whole person. Students will learn about professional use of self and examine their own professional self. Students will gain insight into key concepts and learn practical skills such as care planning and working within an interdisciplinary team. Students will also briefly explore the globalization of social programs and international practice.

Students will learn the basics of physical and emotional development across the lifespan and the various social stages experienced throughout life. Students will become familiar with psychology fundamentals and how they can be applied to understanding human behaviour. Students will also be exposed to end-of-life concerns.

Students will learn the history of colonization in Canada and the issues facing Indigenous populations today. The student will also gain insight into the Indigenous groups in Canada and explore Indigenous beliefs and traditional ways of life, and come to understand the importance of reconciliation and Indigenous self-governance.

Students will learn about family life in Canada, including both historical and modern concepts of family. Students will become familiar with the types of families, and the most common transitions families face. Students will explore what healthy relationships and healthy families look like and be exposed to issues that threaten the family, such as poverty and family violence. Students will also develop a solid understanding of Family Systems Theory.

Students will examine various populations that are vulnerable due to such issues as discrimination, poverty, inequality, and trauma. Students will explore various vulnerable populations, including women, immigrants, racialized Canadians, the elderly, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities and Indigenous groups in Canada. Students will gain insight into the systemic, social, physical and environmental factors that influence vulnerability. Students will learn what it means to support and advocate for susceptible populations.

Students will learn the basics of facilitating group work; this will include group dynamics and effective communication. Students will learn the crucial skills needed for facilitating groups and for managing difficulties that can arise. Students will explore ways to create an inclusive environment and how to employ consensus. Students will practice their skills in mock facilitations.

This course teaches job search skills and helps students understand the labour market. It includes coaching in writing effective resumes and cover letters. Students also participate in mock interviews to correct and refine skills, increasing employment readiness.

Topics include

  • Portfolios
  • Job search strategies
  • Resume and cover letter writing
  • Mock interviews and retrospective reviews
  • The role of social media in job hunting