August 19, 2009 | Manitoba
CDI's Addiction & Community Service Worker Diploma Program - A Roaring Success
Winnipeg, Manitoba - CDI College's Addictions and Community Services Worker Diploma Program has become a "roaring success" with employers snapping up graduates and two new classes set to graduate this fall.
The new program launched in 2007 has 24 successful graduates all of whom were hired in their field. Tahl East, CDI College's Winnipeg Director said, "The program is a roaring success! We have been impressed by the incredible response that our graduates have received from employers. A large percentage of students have been hired before their practicum placements were completed."
Winnipeg and its capital region have benefited directly with CDI's highly skilled Addictions and Community Services Worker Graduates. "Some of our strongest employers include Marymound, Macdonald Youth Services, Main Street Project, and Knowles Centre," East said enthusiastically, "and we have had successful practicum placements at the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba and Downtown Biz."
In fact, CDI College honoured Macdonald Youth Services at the 2009 Spring Convocations Ceremonies with a Practicum Partnership Award for their support of the program. "It was wonderful to share our success with our employer partners. Our success and our students' success is their success."
There are now two classes of Addictions and Community Services Worker students happening due to the strong need for qualified and trained staff. "Our program has one of the highest standards of excellence for a college program in Canada, "East said proudly, "there is an incredible interest and support from many different sectors of the community."
Winnipeg has a growing need for trained community services workers and addictions specialists to address our many social needs. CDI graduates are trained, ready and able to meet this challenge right away. "Our students are right on the front lines. Even before their practicum, we tour many possible practicum and employer workplaces." East said "Our students come back even more enthusiastic and eager to start their new careers."
Besides working with frontline employers, the program has many different directions for its graduates to pursue. Graduates may hold professional and para-professional positions in a diverse range of settings such as child, youth, and family social service agencies, and programs concerned specifically with alcoholism, drug abuse, family violence and the aged. Additional work environments may include group homes, correctional and community mental health centres, and facilities for the physically and developmentally handicapped.
In addition to the CDI Diploma in Addictions and Community Services Worker, graduates also receive 300 hours of practicum with an employer in the field. "This gives them actual work experience either in a hands-on environment under the direction of actual practitioners as well as opportunities for job shadowing." East explained.
CDI College Addictions and Community Services Worker Graduates also receive accredited certification in Non Violent Crisis Intervention, First Aid/ CPR and ASIST - Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.
"We have a highly qualified staff member who is certified to deliver the Non Violent Crisis Intervention and the ASIST Training," East said, "This means that we do provide a one-stop service for our students at our college."
CDI College has a high level of participation from its employer partners. "We had been reviewing the program with agencies and organization in the community who would be potential employers. They told us what they needed from potential employees. We listened and we provided that in our curriculum." East said, "Combined with highly skilled instructors, this is the secret to the success of this great program."
The instructor team for the Addictions and Community Services Worker Program are strongly qualified having backgrounds of working in the Community Service and Youth Care field for many years. "They actually were recruited from the organizations that employ our graduates. They know what challenges are out there and they train our graduates up to speed not just to be adequate but to be the best possible." East said.
What do employers say about our graduates? Reports that come back are glowing, including statements such as, "It is evident first day that they (the students) were confident in their abilities and well trained." Another practicum partner wrote, "It was a great experience to have her as part of our team." A third employer stated, "She is well respected in the unit. She came to our program with an open mind and well prepared - Pleasure to have her with us."
With the increased need for trained staff in the Community Services and Addiction Recovery fields combined with continued support from public and private funders, the need for trained CDI College graduates continues to look positive for the foreseeable future.