Want to work for a highly-motivating, interdisciplinary team of experts? Want to travel and experience no two days alike? Consider becoming a Social Work Officer with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and provide your experience, knowledge and expertise to help CAF members and their families manage mental health, psycho-social and personal issues at home and during deployments.
As a Social Work Officer, you would have the opportunity to provide clinical social work services similar to community mental health and social services agencies. You may work in an office at a base, wing or garrison, as well as be deployed overseas on operational missions. Your primary responsibilities would include:
- Providing clinical intervention services
- Assisting in the resolution of compassionate situations
- Consulting with and advising leaders on the social circumstances encountered by personnel in their units
- Investigating and reporting compassionate situations
- Delivering preventive and rehabilitative programs in the areas of:
- Pre- and post-deployment stress
In this position, you may also be required to collaborate with civilian social agencies to develop appropriate referral contacts and to remain abreast of current professional development and social legislation.
To be eligible to apply to the CAF, you must:
- be at least 18 years old (17 years old with parental consent), except:
- For the Paid Education programs—you may be 16 years old (with parental consent)
- For the Primary Reserves—you may be 16 years old (with parental consent) and must be enrolled as a full-time student
- have completed at least Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Québec (some jobs need higher levels of education)
Related civilian occupations
Basic Military Officer Qualification
After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 15 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the CAF, basic weapons handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic officer training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.
Following basic officer training, official second language training may be offered to you. Training could take from two to nine months to complete depending on your ability in your second language.
Social Work Officers are posted to a base to complete 12 months of on-the-job training, where they expand and broaden clinical social work practice approaches under the supervision of a more senior Social Work Officer.
Social Work Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Training
- Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
- Emotional Focused Therapy for Couples
The minimum required education to apply for this position is a Master of Social Work degree from an accredited Canadian Social Work Program, a current unrestricted licence (active status) to practise as a social worker from a provincial or territorial regulatory authority/association and a letter of "good standing" from that authority. You will also require two years of clinical experience within the last five years. The minimum requirements for Social Work Officers are fixed and equivalencies are not accepted.
If you already have a Master of Social Work degree from a recognized Canadian university, are registered with the professional social work association of a Canadian province or territory, and meet the required clinical experience outlined above, the Forces may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic Military Officer Qualification training and Second Language Training are required before beginning the on-the-job training program.
Subsidized Education for Entry Level Masters
If you have a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a recognized Canadian university, the CAF will pay successful recruits to complete a Master of Social Work program at a Canadian university. They receive a full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full pay in exchange for working with the CAF for a period of time. If you choose to apply to this program, you must have proof that you have been accepted without condition in an accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) program, having a focus on clinical practice, at a Canadian University.
Join the CAF
To learn more about becoming a Social Work Officer, talk to a recruiter at a centre nearest you or call 1-800-856-8488.
Please note that this position is recruiting across Canada, not limited to the listed Province.
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