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Human Services Counsellor

Oulton-College- Earcly Human Services Counsellor Website Bannner

“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity” -Douglas Adams

You are:

  • Caring and patient
  • Social Justice Advocate
  • Passionate about helping society
  • Professional and approachable
  • Community oriented

What is a Human Service Counsellor

A Human Service Counsellor is not a clinical psychologist. Instead, a human service counsellor is a jack of all trades, focusing on supporting the strengths and needs of vulnerable people. As a human Service Counsellor, you will provide a high standard of care to New Brunswick’s children and families, adults living with disability and the aging population. These occupations are the essential backbone to a successful health, mental health and social support system. They work in partnership with other professionals to deliver person-centered care, so individuals can actively participate in their community, live safely in their own home or in a residential care setting.

Will I have the opportunity to train in my new skills before graduation?

You will have two Practicums, one 8-weeks in length and the other 12-weeks in length. These placements will not only allow you to practice and refine your skills with supervision, but also will connect you to prospective employers. Students are required to complete 50 hours of community volunteering before their final placement to garner hands on field related experience.

Term (Year 1): September – July
Term (Year 2): August – November
Practicum: 8 weeks (Year 1) and 12 weeks (Year 2)


Why do I need to have a clear criminal record and vulnerable sector check?

All organizations in this field require a clear criminal record and vulnerable sector check. This is because HSC’s work with vulnerable populations and organizations work to reduce harm. Sometimes, you can work in the field with a criminal record, but that is on a case-by-case basis and most places will not accept a student practicum without a clear record.

I was a previous client of a program, and I want to use my experience to help others. Can I share my story? Can I be successful?

Our team believes that everyone is capable of being successful and we will do everything in our power to ensure success. Most people in this field have been exposed to trauma and that has motivated them to work in this field. The field believes that the best workers come from experience. HSC’s in the field can’t help others until they have helped themselves and have worked through their trauma. In preparing for college, self-reflection may be necessary to ensure you are ready to help others. Students will learn about self- disclosure and when it can be used and when use is inappropriate.

Can I open my own Clinical counselling practice and run therapy session?

Unfortunately, no. You are a client’s cheerleader, and you will use counselling skills, but you will not be able to open your own clinical counselling practice.

Can I work in a daycare?

The short answer is yes, the long answer is not as an ECE. HSC’s are usually hired as a child support worker (inclusion support worker) and do not apply for the government top up.

Can I be a child and youth worker?

Yes, you can work will all ages. Many people working in child and youth care has a Human Service Counsellor training program.

Can I work in the school setting?

Sometimes, it depends on the district you apply too. Many of the essential skills for Educational Assistants overlap with Human Service Counsellors and we have graduates of the program working as educational assistants, classroom support workers and behavior interventionist. You can also work with community agencies that are connected to the school district like: the corridors program, united way, the YMCA, YWCA, Department of Family and Early childhood.

I have anxiety, can I avoid presentations?

Facilitation and presentations are a large part of this field. You can contact student services to see what options are available for you in regard to this.

I had accommodations in school, can I have accommodations now?

Students with accommodation needs will need to contact Student Services and provide documentation to support their accommodation needs. Most accommodations can be met within reason, however we do not permit modifications to courses.

You Will Learn:

  • Counseling Advocacy Skills
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Group Facilitation/Program Planning
  • Knowledge of Community Development
  • Social Policy
  • ASIST – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training
  • Non-violent Crisis Intervention
  • Hepatitis C and STBBI Intervention and Prevention
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Skills Certification
  • Ally Training (LGBTQ Awareness & Sensitivity)

Admissions Requirements:

  • Grade 12 Diploma, Adult Diploma or GED
  • Meeting with an Admissions Advisor
  • 19 years of age prior to commencement of Practicum
  • Completion of the Pre-Enrollment Package
  • Clear Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector Check

Unless they have completed a minimum of three years of study at a school where English is the language of instruction, international students whose first language is not English must submit proof of English language proficiency:

  • CAEL – minimum score of 60 
  • IELTS – 6.0, with no individual score lower than 5.5 
  • TOEFL (IBT) – 80, with no individual score lower than 18 
  • MELAB – minimum score of 80 
  • Duolingo – minimum score of 105 with no subject test score less than 95
  • Cambridge English – minimum score of 169 
  • Pearson Test of English – minimum score of 50 

Please see the international application process here.

Education Pathways:

Oulton College is proud to partner with Crandall University to provide students with a base education (a college education that can be credited towards the completion of a degree!)

Your diploma from Oulton College will allow you to transfer 27 credit hours toward the Adult Degree Completion Program– Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management.

Course Descriptions

Foundation of Human Services

Students will explore the foundation of generalist human service work practice. Through an interactive class students will discuss the profession’s historical roots, examine essential components of sound practice, and problem solving processes and review best practices. Students will explore interdisciplinary approaches and discuss ethical dilemmas.

Interpersonal Relationship

This course will introduce students to the principles and practices of the human relationship. Students will have opportunity to integrate theory and skills development as they begin to recognize the process of human interaction. Giving and receiving feedback, needs, assertiveness, self-esteem, and conflict resolution are emphasized as important influences on interpersonal communication skills. Students will learn to develop collaborative and positive relationships. Focus will be placed on self-exploration and experiential learning.

Behaviour Management

Behavior Management will introduce the student to a wide variety of applied behavioral techniques used to modify behavior. The course will assist the student in observing behavior in an objective and analytical manner. Classical and operant conditioning theories and procedures will be emphasized in a practical manner. Students will learn shaping, prompting, reinforcement, Functional Behavioural Analysis and other behaviour management techniques used in the field.

Lifespan Development

Lifespan Development will explore lifespan psychology (birth to death). Students will focus on developing an understanding of social, emotional, physical, cognitive, moral, sexual, and psychological growth through exploring widely accepted theories. Emphasis will also be placed on exceptionalities in development including at-risk and special circumstances.

Crime, Punishment, and Reintegration

This course gives students a foundation of knowledge of the Canadian legal system necessary for them to properly advocate and support their future clients. Students will learn special considerations in human rights, consent and capacity, mental illness, restorative justice, and youth criminal justice. Students will also explore various provincial acts that apply to the field within the context of children, youth and adults.

Fundamental Skills in Counselling

This course emphasizes the necessary skills to begin any helping relationship. Basic helping skills will be examined and practiced – active listening, reflecting, leading, challenging, paraphrasing, summarizing, etc. – through lectures, class discussions and role play demonstrations.

Crisis Intervention

This course will provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills for managing crisis situations when working in the field. Based on the premise that “Crisis is Opportunity”, students will learn intervention methods (verbal and physical) and safe practices through lectures and certifications. Certifications include CPI’s Non-Violent Crisis Intervention and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.

The Family-System, Issues, and Helping

This course will examine the family system; its communication patterns, rules, and life cycle. Students will have the opportunity to review historical and current practices through a literature review and instructor led lectures. Students will also

be introduced to the process of assessment, engagement, empowerment and discharge as it relates to working with at-risk families. Students will gain skills for working with families, as well as facilitating skill development in families. Students will examine their own family system as well as gain the skills required to work effectively with traditional and non-traditional family structures.

Abnormal Psychology

Students will study the procedure and DSM-V criteria associated with being diagnosed with mental health illnesses. Areas to be explored include, but are not limited to, Bipolar Disorder, Mood Disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Schizophrenia. Students will learn the symptoms and behaviours associated with the above mental illnesses, through case studies, videos, and a variety of instructor led demonstrations. Students will explore and research prevention and treatments including psychotherapy, group therapy, psychoeducational therapy, and psychopharmacological treatments.

Group Dynamics and Principles of Programming

This course provides opportunities for the student to utilize the skills and techniques of the group process in social and work situations. The focus is on group behavior in therapeutic settings and the use of various techniques, methods and approaches within the group process with children, youth and their families. Students will apply this theoretical knowledge to a group therapeutic activity planning project.


This course will educate students on the different forms of abuse inflicted against children, adults, elders and vulnerable persons. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of many types of abuse, such as: neglect and psychological, physical, sexual, and economic abuse. Students will learn how to identify signs of abuse and what to do if they suspect abuse. Risk factors and prevention will also be covered in respect to victims and perpetrators.

Essential Skills in Report Writing

Through an interactive classroom environment, the student will gain the basic skills and techniques necessary to communicate appropriately with staff, clients, families and other human service care providers. Focus will also be given to the importance of proper documentation and reporting. Students will learn how to create client portfolios, individualized case plans, incident reports, daily logs, and other documentation commonly used within the human services field. Students will also be given the skills to prepare and lead a mock case management meeting.

Trauma-Informed Care

This course will provide students with the knowledge of the different forms of trauma, the symptoms and co-morbid disorders that present with children and adults who have been through traumatic events as well as best practices to support these populations. Students will be given the current trends in school, residential, and counseling practices to treat and build relationships with children, youth, and adults who have experienced complex trauma.

Substance Use, Mental Health, and Treatment

This course will provide students with information regarding substance use and misuse. Special emphasis will be placed on assisting students to develop an understanding of such topics as risk factors and protective factors for substance use/misuse, models of assisting (stages of change model, harm reduction model, abstinence model, motivational interviewing, etc.), the links between mental health issues and substance use/misuse and the core functions of a substance use care plan.

Human Services in the Community

This course develops a strong understanding of exceptionalities and disabilities and ways in which students can support their clients in integrating positively into the community by adopting the philosophies of Social Role Valorization. Students will also gain practical experience identifying appropriate support services and intervention strategies available within the community through guest speakers, community visits, volunteer experiences and research. Students also develop an understanding of the relationships between families, community agencies and support service professionals by learning about current Canadian policies and programs.

Independent Directed Workshop

Students will participate in an individual project which is designed for the purpose of an in-depth study of a preapproved topic within the field. Students will be provided a framework for the work required with specific deliverables due throughout the course. Students will be required to submit a written report and as well, will be required to create a workshop related to the field of study. Instructors will support students by providing an appropriate audience for the presentations.

*Content is subject to change by administration as required to meet program and profession standards.

Career Choices:

Graduates from our Human Services Counselor program will be prepared for employment in the human service, mental health and community living fields. You will learn to build purposeful relationships that promote increased levels on health and wellbeing in individuals, families and groups within the community.

  • Residential Care Worker
  • Adult or Family Support Worker
  • Human Service Counsellor Vitalite and Horizon Health Network
  • Human Service Counsellor Social Development
  • Housing Case Manager
  • Residential Care Worker
  • Victim Support Worker
  • Crisis Intervention Counselor
  • Community Outreach Worker
  • Non-Profit Worker
  • Transition House Support Worker
  • Life Skills Instructor
  • Program facilitator
  • Program Coordinator
  • Youth Support Worker
  • Career/Employment Coach
  • Behavioral Interventionist
  • Inclusion Support Worker

Did you know?

Human Service Counsellor is now a voluntary occupational Certification through the Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification Board?

Oulton College’s Human Service Counsellor program is a recognized training program for this certification, and your time in the program counts towards 1500 field hours towards your certification. For more information on the process, click here Get Certified NB.


The Provincial government has decided to cover some training fees for the Human Service Counsellor program. To see if you qualify for the funding, visit the workNB website Human Service Counsellor and Personal Support Worker Training | PETL Working NB.