School of Community Services

Community Support Worker Diploma Program

This diploma program will help you to acquire the knowledge and develop the skills necessary to provide physical, psychological, and social support to individuals across their lifespan.

Program Delivery


Program Overview

The Community Support Worker diploma program at Robertson equips learners with the skills and competence to provide essential physical, psychological and social support to vulnerable individuals.  The breadth of topics covered in the program will help prepare graduates to work with various groups of individuals across the lifespan including homeless persons, Indigenous peoples, children with specials needs, the elderly, and people with substance abuse problems and addictions.

This program is licensed under Alberta’s Private Vocational Training Act (PVTA) and Manitoba’s Private Vocational Institutions Act (PVIA).

In this program, you will:

  • Learn about adolescent growth and the issues that are relevant at each stage of development 
  • Explore the social, cultural and environmental issues that affect the development of a child
  • Understand the nature of addiction and become familiar with the major substances of abuse and their impact on the body
  • Understand the mental and social aspects of aging, including their effect on information processing, relationships, personality and more
  • Understand the impact of chronic illness and developmental disabilities on aging and social work for persons with disabilities
  • Learn counselling and support techniques for working with children, youth, and adults
  • Acquire the knowledge and skills to implement Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) care plans for adults and children
  • Develop the essential knowledge, skills, and attributes needed to provide excellent palliative care to those who are dying as well as providing support for their families
  • Explore the causes, occurrences, and theories of the more common forms of mental illness
  • Develop the knowledge and skills to perform psychosocial rehabilitation and care planning for individuals and families dealing with mental illness

Program Delivery

Online Learning

  • Study on your own schedule with the option to attend live lectures throughout the week to connect with your instructor.
  • Remote learning doesn't mean you're doing it on your own! You will always have the support of your instructors and education team through video calls, discussion boards and more.
  • Brightspace helps you stay on track and hold you accountable while giving you flexibility.

Visit our Online Learning to learn more about this delivery format.

Program Details

Quick Facts



48 Weeks (12 Months)



4 Weeks
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Admission Requirements

Our admissions agents can work with you to ensure you meet the program’s criteria. This program is not currently open to International Students.

Need advice? A Student Admissions Advisor is here to support you.

Contact Admissions

Career Opportunities

The demand for Community Support Workers continue to grow due to the increasing population of vulnerable groups across Canada. Graduates can find employment opportunities as:

  • Child/Youth Care Worker
  • Teen Pregnancy Worker
  • Parenting Support Worker
  • One to One Worker
  • Women’s Shelter Worker
  • Family Place Worker
  • Newcomers Service Worker
  • Adult Care Worker
  • Support Worker
  • Community Access Worker
  • Youth Support Worker
  • Case Manager
You could be earning in less than a year

Lifetime Career Services

Even though you’ll leave Robertson once you graduate, we will support you throughout your career. Our team will help you with resume building, job hunting and interview preparation and will continue to guide you as you advance in your role.

Before you graduate, you’ll be paired with a career specialist in your field who will help you find a meaningful place to start your career. As a graduate, you’ll have lifelong access to student services that are committed to your success and helping you thrive.

Learn more about Lifetime Career Services.

Next Start Dates

Online on your own time with 3 real-time optional sessions per week with your instructor. Real-time sessions are recorded so that you have the option to watch them at a later time.

April 29, 2024
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May 27, 2024
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New start dates are being released all the time. Contact us for more dates.

Topics of Study

Career Preparation - 40 Hours

This course introduces students to career preparation strategies.  Students will be introduced to job search strategies, interviews and other career management strategies.

Children and Youth - 60 Hours

In this course students will explore programming designed to support children and youth.  Students will be introduced to the development of children and youth and develop more complex understandings of the specialized needs and supports available for this population.

Computer Applications - 40 Hours

This course will introduce students to computer hardware and software terms and concepts. Students will also learn how to use basic functions of Microsoft Office and Powerpoint.


Counselling Theories - 40 Hours

This course introduces students to counselling theories and processes.  Students will develop an understanding of different counselling theories and understand the importance of the counselling relationship in affecting change.  Students will also develop introductory counselling skills.

Disabilities - 60 Hours

This course introduces students to populations with cognitive and physical disabilities.  Students will develop an understanding of different types of disabilities and the impact of these disabilities on functioning, social inclusion and quality of life.  Students will explore common myths and misconceptions related to people with cognitive and physical disabilities.

Documentation - 20 Hours

This course introduces students to the documentation skills used within the CSW profession.   The course will introduce students to best practice in documenting work with clients. Students will develop the skills to use industry software to document client and program activities.

Ethics - 20 Hours

Ethical practice is an important skill for CSW students.  This course will introduce students to how ethics is applied within the field and how it relates to working with clients.  Students will look at ethical frameworks and decision-making processes that can help them navigate ethical issues.

Facilitating Groups - 40 Hours

This course introduces students to the process of facilitating groups within the CSW profession.  Students will be introduced to human psychology as a basis for effective programming and develop facilitation techniques based on these ideas.

Family Dynamics - 40 Hours

This course provides students with an understanding of families within Canada.  Students will develop an understanding of the history of families, challenges facing families, along with different models of families.  Students will develop the skills to identify signs of families in distress and to identify relevant supports.

Indigenous Studies - 60 Hours

This course introduces students to the history and experience of Indigenous peoples in Canada.  Students will become familiar with the history and contribution of Indigenous peoples and the impact of this history on physical and mental health.  Students will reflect on the connection of Indigenous people to culture and how this informs programming and supports for this population.

Interpersonal Relationships - 60 Hours

This course introduces students to the core concepts of communication and the importance of effective communication within the profession.  Ideas such as communicating professionally, conflict resolution, teamwork, and inter-cultural communication will be explored using a variety of approaches.  Students will develop the skills needed to communicate effectively with supervisors, co-workers, and clients.

Introduction to Community Services - 40 Hours

This course introduces students to the CSW profession within Canada.  Students will develop an understanding of the history of community supports and services and identify trends and opportunities within the profession.  Students will become familiar with community support models and different organizational models found within the profession.

Lifespan Development - 80 Hours

This course introduces students to human growth and development throughout the lifespan. Physical, social, emotional and cognitive maturation across all stages of development from early childhood to older adulthood will be explored. Students will look at the issues faced at different stages of development and identify community supports that are relevant for each.

Mental Health & Addictions - 60 Hours

This course introduces students to mental health challenges and to the topic of addictions.  Students will develop an understanding of the key concepts and treatment services related to both mental illness and addictions.  Students will explore their own and societies’ misconceptions related to people experiencing mental illness and addictions.  They will look at the role of social, cultural and population differences as they relate to treatment and support options.

Professionalism - 40 Hours

Being a professional in a professional workplace ensures a positive first impression, successful interpersonal relationships and a lasting reputation. This course provides training in leadership skills that ensure adaptability to a continually changing work environment. Topics covered include initiative, teamwork and continuous learning.

Psychology - 60 Hours

This course introduces students to the discipline of psychology and the associated concepts and theories.  Students will develop an understanding of a variety of psychological concepts such as biology and behaviour, learning, memory, development, personality theory, psychological disorders, therapies and social psychology.  Students will work to apply course content in relation to current social issues and to promote self-understanding.

Self-Care - 40 Hours

Self-care is an important concept for CSW students.  This course introduces students to the concept of self-care and why self-care is important.  Students will develop skills to manage the stress associated with working with high-needs clients and populations.

Trauma - 40 Hours

Students will become familiar with the impact of trauma across the lifespan and be introduced to the principles of trauma-informed practice.

Practicum/Practical Project - 160 Hours

The Practicum experience is composed of an integrated work and learning experience.  Students are expected to complete a minimum of 160 hours of practical experience in a professional setting. This course is designed to help students integrate academic learning with the realities of the work environment.

Learning Experience

Learning On Your Own Time
All real-time sessions are optional. You may choose to join in or watch the recording at a later date at your own convenience.

Industry-Leading Instructors
Learn from industry professionals who bring real-life experience into the classroom. You can book office hours or get virtual support from your instructors through Brightspace, where you can schedule video appointments and use instant messenger to ask questions.

Lifelong Career Services
Connect with a career specialist in your field who will help you find a meaningful place to start your career. As a graduate, you’ll have lifelong access to student services that will help you with resume building, interview preparation and networking.

How It Works

Getting Started

Our flexible start dates give you plenty of opportunities to plan for school and live your life around it.

Taking the Course

All Robertson Online courses are hosted on Brightspace, an online platform designed to give you everything you need to succeed in remote learning.

Entering the Workforce

Our programs set you up to adapt to industry changes and thrive in our modern digital workforce.

Visit the How It Works page to learn more about our online student experience. To learn more about how Brightspace gives you everything you need to succeed in your online courses, click here.

Financial Assistance and Funding

Robertson offers a variety of financial aid opportunities to ease students’ stress and allow them to focus on their studies. If you need extra support, we have flexible funding to accommodate all our students, no matter their financial situation. Our dedicated Financial Aid Officers will help you every step of the way.

Questions about tuition and funding?

Contact Admissions


The practicum is an essential part of a learner’s program. It is both a graduation requirement and an extension of in-class learning. The practicum asks you to apply the skills, theories, and concepts that you learned in your classes in an entry-level work experience situation. 

Practicum must begin and end within the dates outlined in your program schedule and enrolment contract. Practicum is a full-time, unpaid commitment, and is jointly-procured — where you work directly with our Practicum team to obtain a training-related placement.  Your active participation with our Practicum team in the search for your practicum placement will enhance your career development skills, industry networking opportunities, and professional communication skills.

Let's Get Started

Simply fill out the form below and one of our Student Advisors will provide any extra information you need and get your account activated as early as today.

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1 (855) 333-9319
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Program Availability

This program is neither available on campus or via Robertson Online.

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