Addiction and Disability Community Support Worker Diploma

In-Person & Online Formats Available

Program DeliveryClassroom or Online Formats Available
duration27 Weeks (6 Months)
Schedule5 Days / Week, evenings and weekends scheduling available
Practicum8 Weeks Full-Time

Community Support Worker Program Highlights

As an Addictions and Community Support Worker and student, your day-to-day could include: 

  • Working with individuals who have experienced trauma
  • Providing support for people with developmental disabilities 
  • Understanding and promoting multiculturalism and diversity 
  • Understanding systemic challenges faced by vulnerable populations and create solutions to personal and social justice issues 
  • Working with at-risk populations 
  • Working with individuals experiencing addiction and mental health issues 
  • Understanding and navigating through complex family dynamics 
  • Non-violent, non-escalating crisis intervention 
ABES Graduate Employment Rate
Median Wage
High Wage


Community Support Worker: What is the program like, and what do CSWs do?

The short answer is that Community Support Workers work within communities and help people deal with both personal and social justice issues they may be confronting.

As a CSW, you may work as an addiction support worker, disability support worker, or some other outreach role for community members.  

A CSW may do any of the following:

  • Assisting clients with discovering and utilizing resources within their communities, including legal services, medical resources, financial assistance, housing, employment support, transportation and mobility, helping with moving, child care, and any other referral based services.
  • Helping clients develop life skills through support and feedback. 
  • Under the supervision of social services or health care professionals, understanding and monitoring your client's substance abuse treatment programs, behaviour management programs, youth services programs and any other social service programs they may be a part of.
  • Administration and implementation of social assistance programs and community services that will enrich the lives of your clients.
  • Establish contact with social service workers and health care providers that also work with your clients to provide them with information and receive valuable feedback on the progress of your clients.
  • Help to arrange and organize volunteer activities involving human service agencies, health care facilities, and recreational organizations.
  • Working alongside individuals currently living in group homes or half-way houses, supervise their activities and support their pre-release and release planning.
Becoming a Community Support Worker provides you with a valuable set of skills that set you up for a successful, stable career. The best part about working as a CSW is the fact that your work contributes to helping members of your community and making it a better place for everyone.

Career Opportunities

Find a CSW career in the following fields and locations:

  • Newcomer and Immigration Services Support
  • Family Place Worker
  • Addiction and Substance Support
  • Homeless Shelters & Temporary Living
  • Women’s Shelters
  • Teen Pregnancy Support
  • Parenting Support
  • Foster Home Support
  • Community Access
  • Case Management
  • Adult and Age Care
  • One-to-One Support
  • General Support
  • Youth & Family Support

8 Week Practicum Placement

At 8 weeks, ABES offers one of the longest CSW practicums in Calgary!

Many Community Support Worker Diploma graduates secure their first career position because of the experience gained during their practicum. 

Your practicum gives you the real-world experience that employers look for and allows you to network with peers and potential employers while building skills. 

Start Your Application Now

Fill out the form below and one of our Admissions Advisors will contact you to begin your application for the Community Support Worker program, and answer any questions you have.

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Video Testimonials

ABES College CSW Program Graduates discuss their exepriences and career outcomes

The Community Support Worker Program at ABES helped Charity discover a new and meaningful career.

Apply For This ProgramBegin your path towards a rewarding career

What Our Students Have to Say

Trust the Process

Studying at ABES College has been one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. The instructors and staff are a top-rate as they want their students to do well and they are very supportive in every step of the way. I am very thankful for all the staff of ABES College as they have been a part of my successful journey and I wouldn't achieve what I have achieved without the caring environment. One piece of advice I would like to give to future students is "just trust the process!"

Angelyn P.

Great School

ABES College is a great school! If you want a career in health care this is the place to go. They have a great reputation with CLS and Alberta Health Services. They will give you everything you need to start in health care down to scrubs to wear. I would recommend anyone to take a program here. The staff and teachers really care about students. They will help you reach your goals.

Vicky B. 

Read More CSW Testimonials

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Job Outlook for Community Support Workers in Calgary?

Great news for Community Support Workers: 
There are plenty of opportunities for steady, high-paying positions available both now and in the future. 

According to Alberta Labour, Community Support Worker positions will continue to grow through 2023. 

In other words, if you’ve been searching for a career that will allow you to work with vulnerable adults, youth, children, and families as well as earn a salary you deserve, completing your diploma as an Addiction and Disability Support Worker will help you reach your goals while making the world a better place. 

Can I Qualify for Financial Aid?

Yes! Over 95% of applicants qualify for financial aid. 

Many CSW diploma applicants, including those with children, who didn’t work last year, and who recently arrived in Canada, will qualify for free grants automatically. In addition, those with higher incomes may also be eligible for some financial assistance.  

In short: if you’re worried about the cost of the program, schedule a time to chat with an ABES Admissions Advisor. They’ll help you understand financing options as well as walk you through the application process. 

Learn More About Financial Options

The ABES College Difference

What Makes ABES Different from Other Schools?

We stand out from other schools for 3 big reasons:
  • ABES guarantees hands-on and exercise-based training for every student 
  • Unlike other schools, all our programs offer practicums in the Calgary area—making it easier for you to stay local. Plus, many students get their first job offer while still on practicum.  
  • Finally, we stand out due to our extensive connections in the community. Thanks to our relationships with local healthcare facilities and other prominent employers, our graduates have an easy road to employment.