1 Courses Required

This Certificate is collaboratively developed and represents a community-university partnership between the Calgary Homeless Foundation and the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary.

The Level I Certificate prepares professionals to work effectively, competently, and ethically with clients who experience homelessness and their agencies. A Housing First model serves as a foundation for the certificate, which provides skill based learning to front-line practitioners in the homeless sector through 13 learning modules. The focus of this program is to educate practitioners on how to navigate a complex system composed of government, mental health, health, social service and community based agencies. Topics covered include homelessness in Canada, communication?—?working with compassion, outreach and engagement, legal issues, FASD awareness, worker self-care, case management, harm reduction, professional practice, client advocacy, mental health, substance misuse/ addictions, domestic violence, diversity, culture and anti-oppressive practice from an Indigenous perspective, and working with unique populations experiencing homelessness. These topics are covered by a team of dedicated professionals working in the community and members of the Faculty of Social Work. This program is offered face to face in a classroom setting at the University of Calgary.

What you will learn

The modules for this course have been designed to cover the following areas:

  • Module 1: Homelessness in Canada
  • Module 2: Working with Compassion: Outreach and Engagement
  • Module 3: Legal Issues
  • Module 4: FASD: Awareness & Case Management
  • Module 5: Self-care, Burn-out and Trauma
  • Module 6: Harm Reduction
  • Module 7: Diversity and Anti-Oppressive Practice: Working with Aboriginal People
  • Module 8: Introduction to Health and Wellness
  • Module 9: Working with Unique Homeless Populations
  • Module 10: Cultural Competency and Homelessness: The Pathway to Effective Service Delivery
  • Module 11: Domestic Violence
  • Module 12: Case Management
  • Module 13: Mental Health, Addictions and Co-occurring Disorders
  • Field Trip – Life on the Streets
  • Final Presentations

Who should take this program?

The certificate is designed for front-line staff working in the homeless sector who want to develop and enhance knowledge and practice skills. This certificate will be a pre-requisite for any advanced course offerings in this program.

Working with Homeless Populations Certificate Learning Goals

  • Develop skills, knowledge and awareness of working with homeless populations in Canada
  • Learn from knowledgeable instructors who have practical work experience
  • Engage with peers and colleagues in collaborative networking across agencies
  • Become knowledgeable on case management, mental health, diversity, systemic oppressions, addictions, FASD, domestic violence and inter-cultural issues
  • Develop an understanding of different legal issues within the homeless sector
  • Develop a deeper awareness and understanding of different mental health concerns and health conditions for individuals experiencing homelessness
  • Develop awareness of the need for self-care within this profession

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum of high school diploma or equivalent.
  • An applicant whose primary language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency.
  • Currently working with individuals and families who are homeless.

Thank you for your interest. Our Certificate in Working with Homeless Populations: Practice Fundamentals is currently not being offered, however we hope to offer this program in the future. If you’re interested, please take a moment to provide us with your contact information, and we’ll let you know when the certificate is once again being offered.

Additional Details


Minimum Required

1 Course(s)

Maximum Allowed

1 Course(s)

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