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Welcome to Heritage College’s Addictions & Community Support Worker certificate program in Western Canada. Our program equips students with the necessary skills to excel as part of a social assistance or community service team. Designed to be efficient, our express Addictions & Community Support Worker certificate program allows you to complete your education faster compared to other colleges in the Calgary area, enabling you to graduate and embark on your new career in social work in just 25 weeks.

At Heritage College, we pride ourselves on our experienced team of experts in the social work field. Our instructors possess valuable, real-world knowledge and experience, providing you with the best education to meet the demands of today’s agencies and programs. Join our program to become part of a modern community support team.

During this program, you will acquire practical skills essential for working in various community programs and services, opening up numerous career opportunities in this diverse field. In Alberta, Community Support Workers and Addictions Advisors find employment in social service and government agencies, mental health agencies, group homes, shelters, substance abuse centers, school boards, correctional facilities, and related organizations. Community Support Workers offer physical, vocational, recreational, social, and emotional support to clients, both individually and as part of a team, while also supporting caregivers, social workers, and teachers.

As part of this certificate program, you will obtain FIVE industry-recognized certifications that demonstrate your expertise in the support worker field:

  • First Aid & CPR Level C
  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASSIST)
  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI)
  • Brain Story Addiction & Mental Health Certification
  • Four Seasons Indigenous Reconciliation Certification

Our Addictions & Community Support Worker certificate program covers a range of courses, delving into brain development and its correlation with addictions and mental health. You will develop core counseling skills, learn effective methods for working with groups, and acquire strategies for supporting individuals with disabilities. Additionally, you will gain insights into family life in Canada, exploring physical, emotional, and social development across the lifespan. Our curriculum also includes a comprehensive understanding of various diverse and vulnerable populations in Canada, along with the history and impacts of colonization on Indigenous peoples.

What sets us apart is our commitment to hands-on experience. During the 6-month express program, you will engage in five weeks of practical work experience in social service agencies and shelters within your hometown. Upon graduation, Heritage College’s Career Services department provides ongoing support, including assistance with job searches, resume and LinkedIn profile reviews, and interview preparation. With our certificate in hand, you will possess the confidence and skills necessary to become a front-line worker supporting individuals, families, and communities facing adversity.

Join Heritage College’s Addictions & Community Support Worker certificate program today and unlock a rewarding career in social work!

Course Overview

Upon completing Heritage College’s Addictions & Community Support Worker program, graduates emerge equipped with the essential communication and counseling skills required to support the operations of diverse social service agencies. Throughout this intensive 6-month program, students engage in a range of activities and experiences, including:

  • Practical face-to-face counseling and intervention experience through simulated sessions and practicums, fostering proficiency in relationship building, applied behavior analysis, and crisis intervention.
  • Attainment of FIVE industry-recognized certifications, strengthening professional credentials:
    • First Aid & CPR Level C
    • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASSIST)
    • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI)
    • Brain Story Addiction & Mental Health Certification
    • Four Seasons Indigenous Reconciliation Certification
  • In-depth study of physical, social, and emotional development across different life stages, enabling students to provide effective support to children, youth, and end-of-life populations.
  • Practical training in recording and reporting, including the processing of case notes and incident reports, fostering proficiency in essential administrative tasks.
  • Exploration of diverse vulnerable populations, such as women, children, individuals living with disabilities, the LGBTQ+ community, and Indigenous groups, nurturing cultural sensitivity and understanding.
  • Comprehensive understanding of the laws and regulations governing the practice of social work in Canada, ensuring adherence to ethical standards and professional guidelines.

By graduating from Heritage College’s Addictions & Community Support Worker program, you will possess the knowledge, skills, and certifications needed to make a positive impact in the field of social work.

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 are integral members of numerous community support teams. Graduates of our program have excellent employment prospects in various sectors, including:

  • 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 specific job responsibilities will depend on the nature of your employment. In most social support agencies, community support workers serve as the initial point of contact for individuals seeking assistance. Our graduates can pursue rewarding careers 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 comprehensive information on careers in the social and community service field, visit the social and community service worker career information page on the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website.

A community support worker engaging with a client

Upcoming Start Dates

+ Jul 7, 2024 - Weekend Online
+ Aug 11, 2024 - Weekend Online
+ Sept 22, 2024 - Weekend Online
+ Oct 20, 2024 - 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


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Why Heritage?

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 provincial 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.

Heritage College’s Addictions & Community Support Worker program is eligible for government funding and loans in:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Saskatchewan
  • Manitoba
  • Ontario
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia


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.

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

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