Earn $7-15k More per Year with an
Addiction and Disability Community Support Worker diploma from ABES College

Increase your wage by $5-10/hr after graduation, based on a pre-program wage of $15/hr and a wage of $20-25 after graduation.

Online and In-Class options available
Over 90% employment rate after graduation*
Funding and grants available through student aid
Practicum included

* All employment rate data is verified according to the Private Vocational Training Act.

Learn more about becoming a Community Support Worker

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who do Community Support Workers serve?

Community Support Workers serve a diverse range of populations, providing assistance, advocacy, and support to individuals facing various challenges. Here are some of the populations that Community Support Workers commonly work with:

Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: Community Support Workers often work with individuals who have developmental disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome, or intellectual disabilities. They provide support in areas like daily living skills, social integration, and accessing community resources.

Individuals with Mental Health Challenges: Community Support Workers play a vital role in supporting individuals with mental health challenges. They may assist with medication management, crisis intervention, emotional support, and help individuals develop coping skills to improve their overall well-being.

Seniors: Community Support Workers can work with elderly individuals, providing support and companionship. They may assist with daily tasks, personal care, medication management, and facilitate social engagement to enhance the quality of life for seniors.

Youth and Adolescents: Community Support Workers may work with young people who require guidance and assistance. They can help with educational support, life skills development, mentorship, and facilitating positive social interactions.

Individuals with Physical Disabilities: Community Support Workers can support individuals with physical disabilities by assisting with mobility, personal care, accessibility, and facilitating their participation in the community.

Individuals experiencing Homelessness: Community Support Workers often work with individuals who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness. They provide support in accessing housing, basic needs, employment resources, and connecting individuals to community services.

Immigrants and Refugees: Community Support Workers may assist newcomers in their integration process by providing orientation, language support, navigating social services, and offering cultural guidance to help them adapt to their new environment.

Individuals with Addictions: Community Support Workers can work with individuals struggling with substance abuse or addiction. They may provide support in accessing treatment, harm reduction strategies, relapse prevention, and facilitating community support groups.

These are just a few examples of the populations that Community Support Workers serve.

Where can I work after I graduate?

Upon completing the Community Support Worker diploma program, you will have a variety of employment opportunities in Calgary, Alberta, and beyond. Community support workers play a crucial role in providing assistance and support to individuals who may be facing challenges or require additional help in various settings. Here are some potential work environments where you can find employment:

Nonprofit Organizations: Many nonprofit organizations provide support services to individuals and communities. You could work with organizations focused on mental health, disabilities, youth, seniors, or other specific populations.

Social Service Agencies: Social service agencies offer a wide range of programs and support services. You might find opportunities to work with organizations that provide counseling, addiction support, crisis intervention, or community development services.

Group Homes and Residential Facilities: Group homes and residential facilities serve individuals with diverse needs, including developmental disabilities, mental health issues, or those transitioning from homelessness. These settings often require community support workers to provide daily assistance and support.

Schools and Educational Institutions: Some community support workers find employment in schools or educational institutions. You could work with students who require additional assistance due to learning challenges, behavioral issues, or special needs.

Rehabilitation Centers: Rehabilitation centers focus on supporting individuals recovering from physical injuries, illness, or addiction. As a community support worker, you could provide assistance and encouragement to individuals during their rehabilitation process.

Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities: Some community support workers work in healthcare settings, collaborating with medical professionals to provide support and assistance to patients and their families.

Government Agencies: Various government departments or agencies hire community support workers to provide services to vulnerable populations, such as children and families, immigrants and refugees, or individuals with disabilities.

Remember, the specific employment opportunities may vary based on the current job market and local demand. It's always beneficial to research and network with organizations and agencies in your area to explore potential career options.

What will I learn in class?

In the Community Support Worker diploma program, you will acquire a comprehensive set of skills and knowledge to effectively support individuals in need. One of the unique elements to the Community Support Worker diploma program at ABES College is the focus on trauma and trauma-informed care. Trauma-informed care is an approach that recognizes the prevalence and impact of trauma on individuals and emphasizes creating a safe and supportive environment for those who have experienced trauma.

Introduction to Community Support Work: An overview of the field, its role in assisting individuals, and the ethical considerations involved.

Trauma-Informed Care: Understanding the effects of trauma on individuals' physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Exploring trauma-informed practices, such as creating safe spaces, building trust, and promoting empowerment and choice. 

Human Development and Behaviour: Understanding human growth and development across the lifespan, including physical, cognitive, emotional, and social aspects. Examining behavior patterns, factors influencing behavior, and effective communication techniques.

Mental Health and Wellness: Learning about common mental health disorders, their symptoms, and treatment approaches. Developing skills to provide support, crisis intervention, and promoting mental well-being.

Trauma-Informed Interventions: Learning about trauma-informed intervention strategies and approaches for supporting individuals who have experienced trauma. This may include trauma-focused therapies, coping techniques, and self-care strategies.

Trauma and Resilience: Examining the concept of resilience and how individuals can develop and strengthen their resilience in the face of trauma. Exploring protective factors and strategies for promoting resilience in individuals and communities.

Self-Care for Support Workers: Recognizing the potential impact of working with individuals who have experienced trauma. Emphasizing self-care practices and strategies for maintaining personal well-being and preventing burnout. 

Disability Support: Exploring various disabilities, including physical, sensory, and intellectual disabilities. Strategies for providing personalized care, promoting independence, and facilitating inclusion.

Addiction and Substance Abuse: Understanding addiction, its impact on individuals and families, and approaches to support individuals with substance abuse issues. Examining harm reduction strategies, relapse prevention, and community resources.

Counseling and Communication Skills: Developing effective listening, communication, and counseling techniques. Enhancing empathy, rapport-building, and problem-solving skills to establish a supportive environment.

Cultural Competence: Recognizing and respecting cultural diversity. Understanding the impact of culture on individuals and communities and providing culturally sensitive support.

Community Resources and Advocacy: Identifying and accessing community resources, services, and supports. Learning advocacy skills to empower individuals and promote their rights and interests.

Professionalism and Ethics: Emphasizing professional conduct, ethical principles, and legal considerations within the field. Developing critical thinking, self-reflection, and ethical decision-making skills.

The program is designed to provide you with a well-rounded understanding of community support work and equip you with the necessary skills to make a positive impact in the lives of individuals you will support.

How can I pay for the program?

There are several payment options available to cover the cost of the Community Support Worker program:

Personal Payment: You have the option to make payments with no interest, spreading the cost over several payments.

Bank or Credit Union Financing: Your bank or credit union might provide financing options specifically designed for educational expenses. You may be eligible for a student line of credit or loan. We recommend contacting your financial institution to inquire about the criteria and terms associated with these options.

Government Student Loans: If you meet the necessary requirements, federal and provincial student loans are available to assist with tuition fees. To learn more about the application process and eligibility criteria, please visit www.studentaid.alberta.ca. Our experienced Financial Aid Officers can also provide guidance and support throughout the application process.

Band Funding: Qualifying individuals may have access to funding through Aboriginal bands or organizations. We encourage you to directly contact their offices to inquire about the funding options available to you. Our Student Financial Administrators are also available to assist you in navigating the application process.

Scholarships & Bursaries: There are various scholarships and bursaries available that you may be eligible for. Your family's affiliation with certain companies, organizations, or unions could provide scholarship and bursary opportunities for qualifying family members. Additionally, you can explore resources like www.scholarshipscanada.com to discover scholarships and bursaries specifically available in Alberta.

It's important to explore these payment options and assess their suitability based on your financial circumstances. Our admissions or financial aid office can provide further information on the specific payment methods and options we offer at our vocational college.

Understanding the costs associated with the program and exploring funding opportunities will help you make an informed decision regarding your financial investment in the Community Support Worker diploma program.

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10, 221 18 St SE
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T2E 6J5

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