Logo: Assualted Women's and Children's Counsellor Advocate Program

Centre for Community Services
and Development

The Centre for Community Services and Development offers six fulltime programs, two continuing education programs, customized training and applied research. All of these activities focus on improving the social fabric of the community.

The Centre Programs are:

  • Assaulted Women's and Children's Counsellor/Advocate*
  • Behavioural Science Technology
  • Career and Work Counsellor*
  • Child and Youth Worker
  • Community Worker
  • Human Services Counsellor

* Also offered in continuing education format

All programs in the Centre are located at the St. James Campus.

A Combination of Theory and Hands-On Experience

As Toronto continues to grow in size, diversity in population and we experience ever-greater social change, one thing will remain the same: more counselors and community workers will be needed to reach out and make a difference.

George Brown's Centre for Community Services and development meets the needs of our urban community with the most comprehensive range of programs in the province and the largest number of community agencies partnerships - over one thousand. In class and in the field, you will gain the skills and understanding needed to support individual and community development through sound analysis, counselling, caring program development and effective advocacy.

The Centre prepares students by providing:

  • Student-centred programs teach independent thinking, intervention skills, teamwork, leadership, community awareness and professionalism.
  • A full range of programs from preparatory to diploma to post-diploma.
  • Excellent job opportunities through hands-on experience with over one thousand partner agencies.

Overview of The Centre

The following 6 key themes express the values and goals for the Centre for Community and Development:

  • Student success with strong connections to the field through field placements, advisory committees and other relationships.
  • Participation and influence both inside and outside the college through community and institutional partnerships.
  • Academic excellence through innovative program design and delivery.
  • Inclusively, valuing and celebrating diversity in students and staff, including international students, placements and partnerships.
  • Applied research benefits the community and ensures current classroom content.
  • A culture of lifelong learning guided by passion and compassion.
  • The city is your classroom the College's location in downtown Toronto gives students an unparalleled opportunity to draw on the rich resources of the city. Student placements, program partnerships, field research and site visits occur through the city and surrounding areas.
  • The world is your classroom the Centre has a focus on international involvement, which adds vibrancy. Students from several programs can participate in international field placements and a variety of learning experiences with an international flavour. Cuba and Jamaica are current international student placement sites. Over 10% of the students who choose international placements go on to further international work after graduation.

Career Options

Graduates from The Centre for Community Services and Development programs find careers as Substance Abuse Counsellors, Mental Health Workers, Counsellor Advocates for Abused women and children, Child and Youth Workers, Community Workers, Court Support Workers, Career Counselors, Employment Counsellors, Behaviour Therapists, Behaviour Analysts, Family Support Workers, Life Skills Coaches, Residential Support Workers, Community Educators, Street Support Workers, Settlement Counsellors, Outreach Workers, Case Managers, Program Managers, AIDS Educators, Support Group Facilitators.

History of The Centre

The Centre includes programs that have been part of the College system since 1967 as well as some that are recent response to social and community issues. The Centre brings these programs into a closer relationship, emphasizing their common features and shared values. Graduates of the centers programs are active throughout the community and some have returned to the College to teach.


The Centre for Community Services and Development attracts students from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences. They are committed to the development of healthy communities, to social justice and to equitable and accessible services. Many have substantial volunteer experience before coming to the College.

The admissions process varies by program. Prospective students should consult the detailed program descriptions for information about program requirements and the admissions process.

Community Partners

The Centre builds strong linkages with community stakeholders and responds to the changing needs of the community with innovative program design and delivery.

Community partners provide the Centre with field placements, guest speakers, program advisory committees and community consultations. Many of our graduates find employment with these partners.

Advisory Committee

Program Advisory Committees are composed of employers, community members, representatives from service agencies and relevant professional bodies as well as program graduates. They advise the College and the Centre's programs about current issues and trends and make recommendations about curriculum.

Placement And Practicum's

In addition to classroom learning, each program links students with a placement, where, under supervision and mentorship, they work in the field they are training for. Depending on the program, placements involve 700 to 1400 hours of practical hands-on practical experience in a specific community service setting where students can hone the skills learned in the classroom.

Examples of placement sites include: Parkdale Project Read, The United Steel Workers of America, Victim Witness Assistance Programs, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Regent Park community Centre, Education Wife Assault, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Rexdale Women's Centre, Earlscourt Child and Family Centre, YWCA, Griffin Centre, Toronto Social Forum, Operation Springboard, Native Women's Resource Centre, COSTI, Woodgreen Community Centre, ACCES, Dufferin Peel Catholic School Board, and Creating Together.

Additional placement sites: shelters for assaulted women and their children, rape crisis centers, constituency offices, hospital affiliated withdrawal management centers, homeless shelters, correctional settings, group homes and schools.

Activities And Fundraising

Students in the Centre can learn by organizing a variety of activities. Recent examples include; International Women's Days celebrations, peace demonstrations, guest speakers such as Gwynne Dyer, Taslima Nazrin, Deborah Ellis, Olivia Chow, Sharon Menow, and the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society.

Student Fundraising Activities have included a yearly production of the Vagina Monologues, pub night events and fundraising for specific community agencies. Each year the Centre sponsors a one week Labour Fair bringing speakers and performers to the classroom.


I do not assume that we will eradicate violence in our lifetime, but I am certain of this: as long as we are up for the challenge, believe in what is just and true and not let our hearts be hardened in the struggle, we will create an even stronger movement towards peace.

Melissa Brown,
Client Support Worker,
At Satellite/Breakaway