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Community Social Services

Community Social Services

"I thought I would leave Guelph-Humber knowing all the answers. Now that I'm working in the field I know that my time at Guelph-Humber gave me the skills to ask the right questions."

Learn About Stefania
Stefania B.

Why study CSS at UofGH?

Find out why students just like you chose the University of Guelph-Humber.

Note: "Family and Community Social Services" was the former name of the Community Social Services program thus you will see the program referred to by this name in any past videos, articles, etc. about the program.

Video Transcript  

I am a...

Earn 2 Credentials
from the University of Guelph
from Humber

Focused Academic Program

Explore current social issues and understand the challenges faced by vulnerable populations so you can learn how to deliver impactful services, such as counselling, mediation and crisis intervention.

Years 1 & 2
Courses in your first year focus on understanding human behaviour and issues related to individuals, families and groups. In your second year, you will engage in theoretical and practical studies in counselling, ethical and professional issues, and working with various client populations. You may choose to focus on one of two areas of emphasis: Mental Health & Addictions or Youth & Families.*

Years 3 & 4
In your upper years, you will work with diverse groups and learn theory and techniques in areas such as family therapy, case management and crisis intervention. Build strong clinical skills that exceed the industry standard for undergraduate education. Learn basic communication competencies to more in-depth therapeutic interventions for individual, group and family counselling. You will practise interviewing, counselling, crisis intervention, mediation and conflict resolution. By recording the sessions, you can analyze your techniques to help you learn to communicate and support people more effectively. Graduate with important skills in social services—how to listen, how to support someone, understanding boundaries, professionalism, cultural awareness, compassion, global citizenship and self-care. In your final semester, apply for registration as a Social Service Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

Areas of Emphasis

You can choose to complete one of two areas of emphasis (AOE) as part of your regular curriculum: Mental Health and Addictions or Youth and Families. Choosing an area of emphasis will focus your studies even more! You can start taking AOE courses as early as your first year (winter semester). For graduation, you will declare the AOE in your 3rd year, heading into your final year of studies.

Mental Health and Addictions: Focus on enhancing your knowledge and skill in a range of issues related to working in the field of mental health and addictions. If you are interested in learning about theory, research, assessment, best practices/interventions, and current issues related to mental health and addictions, then you will benefit from this area of emphasis.

Youth and Families: Focus on enhancing your knowledge and skill in a range of issues related to working with youth and families. If you are interested in learning about theory, research, assessment, best practices/interventions, and current issues related to youth and families, then you will benefit from this area of emphasis.

Note: "Family and Community Social Services" was the former name of the Community Social Services program thus you will see the program referred to by this name in any past videos, articles, etc. about the program.

Video Transcript  

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Admission Info

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Learn More
Student using computer

Take a Tour

Tour leader

First-year Courses

Group discussion
  • Couple & Family Dynamics
  • CSS Writing & Communication Skills
  • Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Introductory Psychology: Dynamics
  • Issues in Advocacy & Social Justice
  • Principles of Sociology
  • Social Issues & Social Environments
  • Social Work in Canada
  • The Political Process & Social Work
  • General elective or restricted elective

785+ Hours of Experiential Learning

0 hrs Foundation Practicum

Year 2, Winter: Participate in a job-shadowing experience under the direct supervision of a social services professional.

0 hrs Intermediate Practicum

Year 3, Fall/Winter:Continue to learn about agency functions by interacting on a more frequent basis with agency staff, volunteers, clients and the community.

0 hrs Advanced Practicum

Year 4, Fall/Winter:Solidify your knowledge and skills in client services as you prepare for a career in social services or post-graduate education.

Past practicum placements include:

  • Addiction centres
  • Children’s mental health centres
  • Correctional facilities
  • Crisis counselling lines
  • Employment centres
  • Probation and parole centres
  • School settings
  • Seniors' residences
  • Settlement agencies
  • Youth drop-in centres

Note: You will be required to complete a Vulnerable Sector Screening prior to each placement.

Sample Careers & Further Education

  • Addictions Coordinator
  • Case Manager
  • Community Support Worker
  • Community Youth Worker
  • Crisis Counsellor
  • Family & Community Mediator
  • Family Support Coordinator
  • Hospice Support Worker
  • Intensive Behaviour Therapist
  • Mental Health Worker
  • Parole Officer
  • Residential Youth Worker
  • Social Service Coordinator
  • Social Worker
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Master of Social Work
  • Bachelor of Education
  • Master of Arts in Public Policy & Administration
  • Master of Arts in Critical Disability Studies
  • Law School
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Addictions & Mental Health
  • Master of Education in Counselling Psychology
  • PhD in Social Justice Education
  • PhD in Education & Social Justice

Note: Some careers and entry into further education may require additional study.


Participate in professional development

The See | Change Symposium is an annual student-run event that gives you the opportunity to learn from invited practitioners and researchers in your field.

Speaker at symposium

CSS Model United Nations

Take on simulated roles as international delegates to debate current global issues with students from around the world. Gain hands-on experience in international relations, current events and examining political issues as you improve your public speaking, debating and collaboration skills.

World Flags

A future in law

After graduation, take advantage of our partnerships to study law in England. Earn a senior status law degree (LLB) with The City Law School, City, University of London   in just two years, or a Master of Law (LLM) through distance learning with the University of London   in one to five years (full- or part-time). No LSAT. Reduced tuition.

Study in London, England, where the largest law firms in the world are located. The Graduate Entry LLB (Hons) program attracts students from all over the world—many from Canada. Follow in the footsteps of renowned alumni such as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.

London Bridge

Research as an undergraduate

If research interests you, get to know the many research opportunities inside and outside of class. Get paid and conduct research as a Research Assistant with instructors funded by the University’s Research Grant Fund.

Professor and assistants doing facial research
Michael M.

“The FCSS program has given me opportunities and skills to critically examine the world around me. Future students can expect to come into an environment that facilitates meaningful learning about a wide array of topics.”

Learn About Micheal

Global Learning Opportunities

Through instructor-guided study tours, you experience concepts discussed in class. Because all study abroad courses are partially subsidized by the University, the opportunities are within reach. You may also be eligible for a study abroad travel grant.

Past highlights include:

Going to outdoor classrooms in Odense where children interact with nature: an example of Denmark’s unique contribution to child development

Learning about Soka education — a philosophy of well-being and global citizenship in Japan

New Zealand
Exploring the interplay between sport, health and culture in New Zealand’s Australasian society


Immersing in the Italian food experience from production to consumption in Italy, including a visit to the world's first food theme park

Heading to the Galápagos Islands and inland Ecuador to study "eco-psychology" — the attitudes, perceptions and behaviour of people toward the environment

Study Abroad photo from Singapore by Dylan Cunanan

Get Involved


Societies are related to our seven academic programs and offer a realm of activities outside of class. They can help you develop leadership skills, gain professional experience and network. Get involved with the CSS Society! Check out our Clubs and Societies page.


Agora Fellowship

Be a part of the Agora Fellowship: a select group of students who discuss ideas and themes from renowned books in a regular forum led by Dr. George Bragues. Build your extracurricular experience. Every year, the Fellowship takes a trip related to their current topics; destinations have included Boston, Montreal, New York and Washington.


Soka Education Research Centre on Global Citizenship

Join the Soka Education Research Centre on Global Citizenship: a global undergraduate research project—the first of its kind in the world—led by Community Social Services Program Head Dr. Paul Sherman. Explore how to nurture human potential and happiness for the greater benefit of humankind through the study of Soka (value-creating) education and global citizenship. Travel as a Research Assistant to present study results at professional symposiums.