There are questions you can ask yourself to determine if a certain field is for you. Those interested in developmental service work should ask themselves questions such as: Do you have an interest in helping others? Do you like to work with other people? Is working as part of a team something you enjoy? Do you have a caring attitude? Is social justice and social change an area of interest? If you answered ‘yes' to these questions, this field may be for you.

Developmental services workers are employed in a range of roles that include: residential counselors in group homes and supported independent living situations, support workers in day programs offering life-skills training, educational assistants in schools, vocational support workers or job coaches in work situations, employment support, integration facilitator, residential services and recreational program coordinators.

In one way or another, these roles involve:
  • Promoting and mainstreaming health and well-being of clients
  • Promoting the development of inclusive communities in which clients with developmental disabilities are active members
  • Identifying and using personal development resources and activities that promote professional growth
  • Facilitating the development of everyday skills
  • Providing support with respectful and empowering approaches
Through Centennial College's Developmental Services Worker program, students can obtain the training they need to enter the field. This takes two years to achieve and results in an Ontario College Diploma.

Because the program's curriculum reflects current issues and developments, it is often revisited and revised. Currently, the offering is focusing on understanding the nature of intellectual disabilities, personal support requirements and techniques, communication and facilitation skills, critical and reflective thinking, team skills, time management and accessing resources.

Students attend theoretical courses as well as practical application courses that include a range of activities to help them become familiar with topics and scenarios they may face in the field. Among the hands-on aspects of the program are: projects, seminars, community observations, Internet searches, teamwork and electronic communication.

In addition to the training they receive on campus, students experience the real world during their time in the program. This is made possible through field placements. The program contains supervised field placements in semester three (two days per week) and semester four (three days per week).

Not only can students who successfully complete the program launch careers in the previously mentioned roles but, should they wish, they can also continue their educations. Qualified graduates may be eligible to participate in programs at partnership institutions that allow them to apply academic credit towards further study. This program's partner is Ryerson University. Graduates with a B grade average or better can apply to Ryerson's two-year post-diploma degree completion program, Bachelor of Applied Arts in Disability Studies.