Frontline Worker CERTIFICATE Program

Our Purpose

InnerStart Training and Education is dedicated to enhancing skills and providing hands-on experience in the field of Social Science and Health rehabilitation. We promote a trusting, safe and supportive environ­ment with students encouraging education and a career in the health field.


InnerStart Training and Education, in association with InnerVisions Recovery Society, offers an 11 week full time Residential Front Line Worker Program, designed for candidates interested in working in Social Science and Health related facilities. The program will consist of the following components: Counseling, Group Facilitating Skills, Front Line Support Training, and Residential Non-Profit Sector exploration, Non-Violent Crisis Interventions as well as Office Protocol and Procedures. Successful completion of the program will provide students with the following certificates:

Learning Outcomes

The successful candidate will possess the skills, and attain the competence necessary to successfully navigate their way into meaningful careers in the Social Services field, achieving employment as Supportive Frontline Workers specializing in addictions. Our qualified and experienced trainers will educate and equip candidates with the pertinent information and applicable techniques required to access positions in Health Service organizations.


The training program would be broken down into the following ratios to provide candidates with a full spec­trum of learning opportunities:

Admission Requirements

Candidates are required to attend an initial interview prior to acceptance to determine suitability. Candidates must be able to accommodate variable work hours. Candidates are expected to be curious, self-motivated, punctual and task-oriented, and those with substance abuse issues must presently live clean and sober lifestyles.

Time Frames: The program, run on a continuous intake basis, is designed to fulfill a 40-45 hour week, sometimes requiring the candidates to work flexible hours.

Cost: $5,835.00 Program Start: We have a flexible intake policy


  1. Intro to Substance Abuse – Certain fundamental essentials, crucial to working with clients with substance abuse problems, is key ingredients to this section. A candidate will learn the primary skill of “critical thinking”, a foundational building block, and a prerequisite to further learning. Training on the patterns of drug use will enable the candidate to understand the cyclical nature of substance abuse. Listening skills (attending, paraphrasing, reflection of feeling, summarizing) enable a worker to begin to connect with the client, fostering an environment of trust. Without a connection to the client, the process of helping is weakened, and the opening for failure becomes wider. Here a comprehension of probing and discrepancy building (interpreting, constructive confrontation) techniques are uncovered. Hand in hand with an understanding of primary empathy, the candidates will grasp the fundamental nature of the substance abuser, and will be taught the tools required to commence contact. Candidates will understand the disease concept, as well as explore the bio-psycho-social model, which includes additional factors that can lead to substance dependency. Finally, a foray into the realm of harm reduction will be considered part of the curriculum.
  2. Understanding Problematic Substance Use and Addiction
  3. Understanding Problematic Substance Use and Addiction
  4. Change, Motivation and Collaborative Approaches
  5. Client-Directed, Outcome informed Work
  6. Individual Counselling – The initial counselling session requires an understanding of ethics, liability and confidentiality issues, including the regulations regarding the duty to warn and protect. A clinical assessment, the beginning of any individual counselling sequence, requires skilled and proficient candidates able to extract and analyze vital information. Candidates will become accustomed to counselling tools such as decisional balance grids and open-ended questions. In addition, candidates will move on to employing advanced empathy techniques, and will further internalize counseling approaches (empty chair techniques, Satir systems etc.) previously introduced. Candidates will also be able to perceive their range of expertise, known as counsellor competency, and understand when they should refer the client to more appropriate services.
  7. Group Counselling Skills – Candidates will become practiced in the comprehension of group dynamics. They will learn how to: “set a tone”, deal with difficult clients, implement group norms, and they will become skilled in using intrinsic and extrinsic motivational techniques. A study of diff­ering learning styles (haptic, visual etc.) will round out the instruction. Candidates will learn the theory behind facilitating a well-run group, as well as discovering and gathering first-hand ex­perience, through the accumulation of training hours.
  8. Family/Couples Counselling Skills – Family counselling requires an understanding of systems and this section will encourage candidates to view the family from this perspective. The candidate will learn that the family operates as a unit, with all pieces individual, but inter-connected. The candidate will be taught to construct a genogram, and will become dexterous in utilizing sculpting methods. The candidate will gain knowledge of solution-focused counselling principles, and will be studying and working with advanced Satir principles.
  9. Assessment, Referral and Community Resources – Here the concept and role of the assessment will be explored. Assessments are one of the initial steps taken in the counselling process, and are extremely important in determining how the remainder of the counselling process will progress. Candidates will realize the goals, differing levels, and various types and styles of assessments, and will determine how and when to make an appropriate referral. They will become familiar with, and learn to identify community resources (detoxes, treatment centres, out-patient clinics etc.), as well as gaining an understanding of individual methods of referral. An education of referral resources (Red Book etc.) will round out this section.
  10. Ethics and Confidentiality – This section will provide an opportunity for the candidates to further develop their understanding of confidentiality issues, and learn the limitations and exceptions therein (Tarasoffs Duty etc.). The candidate will have an opportunity to understand agency differences (C.A.D.E.T.), and will explore consent and release of information, especially in terms of how these relate to legal matters.
  11. Personal/Professional Development – This section emphasizes a holistic approach to self-awareness and interpersonal skills, which promotes a balanced personal and occupational lifestyle. Candidates will explore ways to take responsibility for their health and well-being, an important aspect, which provides a framework for the modeling of healthy behaviors for their clients, as well as preventative medicine against “burn-out”.
    As the field of counselling is continually changing, it is important to keep abreast of current views and theories, subsequently candidates will understand the importance of, and be encouraged to, continue to maintain a decisive attitude towards ongoing academic upgrading.

Conflict Resolution

Dealing with Anger – This section examines anger, the feelings underneath, and explores how anger creates tension and stress, infusing a “you-versus-me” attitude into relationships. The candidate will learn the 5 stages of the arousal cycle; understand self-fulfilling prophecies and examine self-defeating learned behaviors. An exploration of anger management and communication skills will also be included.

Mediation Skills – Here the candidate will discover best and worst case scenarios (BATNA and WATNA) when mediating conflicts. Candidates will also study appropriate interventions such as, trust building, resistance lowering, responding to competitive tactics and relationship maintenance.

Negotiation Skills – This section is designed to introduce the concept of principled negotiation. The negotiation skills learned here are vital to working within the 4 stages, interest based, and model of conflict resolution. The candidate will learn how to define issues, explore interests and generate options for problem solving. Key instruction will surround understanding the part assertiveness plays in the negotiation, and how to collaborate towards a win-win resolution.

Resolving Conflict in the Workplace – The candidate will learn to assemble classroom learning into generalized concepts, and then understand how these strategies will be utilized in the workplace. This will necessitate the internalization of paradigm shifts with regard to conflicts and challenges, a crucial component in understanding and working with new beliefs and attitudes.

Residential Training

Assessment and Referral – Agency referral systems will be explored in this section. The candidate will learn how to do a brief assessment, asking key questions designed to deduce pertinent information, and become proficient using screening assessment tools such as C.A.G.E.

Intake – The candidate will learn the importance of the initial contact and the process required to build trust with a new intake, thus setting a positive tone. The candidate will be exposed to the initial paperwork required by individual agencies, as well as understand and record information required by government agencies.

Hygiene – Basic house maintenance and personal responsibility essential to ensuring proper residential cleanliness will be explored. A special focus will be placed on appropriate personal hygiene

Facility maintenance – Residence upkeep and routine safeguarding will be the mainstays of this section, with the emphasis placed on a consistent and structured plan of action.

Food safety – The safe storage, cooking and distribution of food will be examined in the section, as well as correct defrosting techniques. Students will complete the FOODSAFE Level 1 Training Program.

Menu planning, diet and meal preparation – Essential nutrition (as described by the Canadian Food Guide and Community Care Licensing) will be discussed and applied to menu design. Simplicity of presentation, variety and presentation of meals will be emphasized.

Activity planning and implementation – This section will provide candidates with opportunities to develop attitudes, frameworks and skills necessary to select and create appropriate recreational activities. Of emphasis will be activities adaptable to differing developmental levels, and investigation on how activities can be used to facilitate leisure, educational and therapeutic goals for various target groups

Developing and setting individualized goal plans – Here the candidate will explore goal definition, as well as understanding the tenets that constitute a realistic goal. Candidates will understand: assessing needs, timing, goal schedules, and goal evaluation. The candidate will obtain an overview of the current diversity of practices in relation to Personal Service Plans (PSP), understand the concept of the PSP in the context of residential accountability, learn procedures for developing a PSP, and understand the role of motivation and revision in regards to PSP’s.

Non-profit sector

Organizing volunteers – Organizing volunteers, a staple in any non-profit organization, requires diligent and pro-active energy. Candidates will explore ways to attract a volunteer base to their organization, stressing the positive rewards inherent therein.

Fundraising – Candidates will explore the challenges, ways and means to raise money in the non-profit sector.

Computer Courses

Databases – Information collecting, storing and sorting are an invaluable part of the health services industry. Information is required to be available in a prompt and efficient manner, and thus candidates will be competent in this category after being trained on the database.

Data Entry – Pertinent keyboarding skills are a prerequisite to the preceding components, and with this in mind, it is vital that clients become accustomed and proficient with computer keyboarding, a critical piece to the entering of data.


Case-notes – Professional standards and agency policies usually require support workers to provide written documentation of client contacts. Case notes document the client process, and help to facilitate the coordination of services. The objectives of case-notes will be covered, as candidates learn charting formats, acquire the skills needed to accomplish case note objectives (conciseness, thoroughness, objectivity, clarity, accuracy etc.), as well receiving insight into charting do’s and don’ts.

Incidents – Incidents, some of which are termed critical, are to be expected to occur within the social services field. It is essential for these episodes to be documented in a purely objective manner. Candidates will grasp the nuances of recording the information without infusing the report with subjective and/or judgmental thinking.

Reports – Timely and organized information is a central mainstay of a well-managed agency. A report serves as a link between the client and the agency team. Candidates will gain knowledge of report writing, including a 3 stage process (planning, writing, and reviewing), culminating with the knowledge of how to give a pertinent and significant staffing report.

Log Books – Log books track time frames within an agency, apprising staff of irregularities and special points of note. The candidate will realize the procedures required to keep a clear and concise flow with a log book.

Office Protocol

Filing – File systems are an important part of every office. Candidates will be given instruction on the various types of filing systems, sequencing and tracking. Appropriate file system setup, accessibility and maintenance will be discussed, as well as confidentiality and requirements upon file completion.

Phone courtesy/procedures – Professional telephone courtesy, appropriate message taking and delivery, agency preferences and company language will comprise this section.

Memos – Objectives for this portion are: why memos are used; how to compose a memo; and proper dispersal and delivery.

Liaising with other professionals – Candidates will receive instruction on professional diplomacy, confidentiality, company language and policy, as well as essential follow through.

Computer Systems – Students will receive training in the following computer systems:


Innerstart Training and Education is regulated by the:
Private Training Institutions Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training (PTIB)