Social Work

Social workers advocate for social justice and work with people to resolve problems in their day-to-day lives. They work one on one with vulnerable children and adults, families in need of assistance, seniors, people with disabilities, people who struggle with substance misuse or mental health problems, refugees and other clients to identify and achieve goals for a better quality of life.

If this sounds like you, the Ƶ Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program will give you the social-work skills and knowledge to take on roles at non-profit community organizations, child welfare agencies, residential and health-care programs and more, where you will work with children, individuals, families and community groups.


In-Demand Skills

Bachelor of social work grads are in high demand throughout the province. B.C.’s 2025 Labour Market Outlook lists social work as one of the province’s top occupations in terms of job opportunities.

 

Program at a Glance

Our BSW program takes three years to complete; all you need is 30 university-transferable credits to be admitted. With our degree, the prerequisites are built into the first year of the program, so even if you have taken general university-transferable courses, you’ll still be eligible to apply.

Ƶ BSW graduates are eligible to write the licensure exam, administered by the BC College of Social Workers, to become registered social workers in BC.

Student Success Story

Josh Rasalan realized he wanted to study social work. And then Ƶmade it possible.

Student Success Story Josh Rasalan

Mission Statement

Actively engaged with our local communities and the application of theory to practice, we are known for our relational strengths-based approach to bringing students from diverse experiences and cultural backgrounds into social work practice.  The BSW degree endeavors to incorporate the conceptual understandings of social work into a range of helping strategies; from working with individuals, groups, and communities to an examination of larger policy issues and advocating for those who are disenfranchised.  We take an intersectional lens to working for change to individual distress and systemic oppression.   Supporting the capacity of students to work successfully in a broad range of social work positions is an important goal of the program as reflected in the course curriculum and their practicum experiences. 

Goals

The Bachelor of Social Work Program:

  •  has a mission statement that reflects our shared vision and values. The mission statement informs program decision-making.
  •  prepares undergraduate students to be generalist practitioners by providing an education that meets professional standards and those of the British Columbia College of Social Workers (BCCSW). 
  •  encourages self-reflection, critical thinking, and a willingness to integrate knowledge into practice across a diverse range of entry level positions in social work.
  •  focusses on relationships, strengths, and student-centered active learning. 
  •  supports practice that is anti-oppressive with a commitment to larger structural change and an understanding of the impact of systems on individuals and communities. 
  • from application to graduation, students with diverse experiences and cultural backgrounds see themselves reflected in and supported by the program’s curriculum and processes. This includes:
    1.  actively supporting students who have lived experience of oppression and trauma.
    2.  fostering knowledge and educational practices that represent ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity, including the voices and experiences of local Indigenous and South Asian communities.
    3.  encouraging affirmation of people across a diverse range of identities, lifestyles, and forms of personal expression.
  •  is committed to Reconciliation. This includes:
    1. fostering understanding and seeks to challenge the individual and systemic racism faced by Indigenous people.
    2. working in partnership with Indigenous people in curriculum development and pedagogy including decolonizing knowledge and practices.  
  • provides students with well-integrated and readily available opportunities for international learning experiences. It actively pursues international partnerships and cross-cultural learning opportunities as appropriate.
  •  responds to, and is actively engaged with, significant community partners and events.
  •   uses  a delivery mode (in-person/online) that responds to students' needs, the capacity and goals of the program, best learning practices and the mandate of the college. 
  •  encourages students and faculty to pursue scholarly activities in relation to available funding and other resources.
  •   supports the continued learning and professional development of faculty and staff, who intentionally share with each other their teaching, research, and curriculum knowledge.
  •  offers enough quality practicum placements to meet student needs and interests, and practicum agencies consider themselves to be in a long-term relationship with the program.
  •  stays actively involved with graduated students engaged as guest speakers, practicum supervisors, and members of advisory committees. 
  •  supports and encourages student participation in the BCCSW, BCASW, and in the curriculum development and pedagogy of the BSW.
  •  connects purposefully with related disciplines within the larger faculty; disability studies, youth justice, child and youth care counselling, etc. 
  • investigates local and global systemic inequalities: ongoing impacts of colonialism, unequal distribution of resources, economic disparities.

Recent Developments

Studies within the BSW are designed intentionally to reflect both the conceptual and practical aspects of social work which the students approach with genuine enthusiasm and initiative.  They have made a conscious choice to enter a challenging, but rewarding profession, with a keen interest to help people who are typically disenfranchised and lacking access to resources in society. 

Our classes are composed of students from a diversity of backgrounds and prior learning experiences which are incorporated to add richness and meaning to class discussions. The input of students brings the application of theories to life and without this the teaching experience would not be nearly as rewarding for all concerned. As a closed cohort the students develop close connections, to support one another, and to navigate the policies and expectations within the program. The group has formed a BSW Student Association which provides opportunities to advocate, support, and share ideas and suggestions. 

Many of the students have secured paid positions or enhanced their employment following graduation across a range of career paths. This listing is not exhaustive but some examples of these are the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), Corrections, Indigenous Service Agencies, Immigration, Substance Misuse Services, Mental Health, and Senior Services. Others have pursued graduate level studies in Social Work and related disciplines while some will be taking a well deserved break over the summer before deciding on next steps.  A recent success of the BSW is the selection of a student as the Valedictorian for the entire FACS graduating class in summer 2021. 

We wish all students good luck in their future pursuits with the hope that they will keep in touch with the instructors and support staff as their careers progress. 

 

Want More Information?

For more information about admission requirements, courses, intake dates and more, visit the Program and Course Catalogue.
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Accreditation

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The Ƶ Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program was approved by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education in Spring 2016, and has been developed to meet all the accreditation standards of the Canadian Association of Social Work Educators (CASWE). Please note, however, that the BSW program is not currently accredited by CASWE.