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Social Work

For Patients and Visitors

What is the Service?

Social Workers are a part of the team who care for a patient. They work closely with Doctors, Nurses and other Allied Health staff. As part of the service, Social Workers meet with patients and families when a referral is received to talk about social supports and patient’s needs and then link patients with helpful services in the community.

What can I expect from the service?

Social Workers provide a range of services including:

  • Assistance at time of a crisis
  • Short term counselling and support
  • Support for women and families with new babies or babies with special needs
  • Making safe discharges from the hospital system
  • Community service referrals
  • Help with managing the practical and emotional parts of moving to residential care or living with a chronic disease
  • Help with Advanced Care Planning including making Guardianship and Administration applications for patients who lack capacity to make decisions about lifestyle, financial, legal and / or medical care
  • Advocate on a patient’s behalf to make sure the best services possible are provided
  • Patient/family education, for example about family violence and supports available

Referrals

Referrals to Social Work will be made by staff. Patients may also ask their Nurse, Doctor or other Allied Health staff for a referral to be made to Social Work.

Contact us

If you would like any further information about the Social Work Departments across any Northern Health site, please contact Allied Health Reception at The Northern Hospital on 8405 8653 or email Alliedhealthenquiries@nh.org.au

 

For Health Professionals

Service Overview

The primary role of the Social Worker in the health setting is to complete a comprehensive psychosocial assessment and develop an intervention plan which ensures access to assistance in the community when required.

For in-patients, Social Workers focus on ensuring a safe, timely and well-planned discharge based on consultation with the treating team, patient, their family and social networks.

For out-patients, the focus is on avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions by managing the client’s health care needs in the community.

The following factors are considered by the Social Worker when undertaking an assessment and developing a plan:

  • Interfamily relationships and dynamics
  • Conflict between client and family members regarding decisions
  • Risk issues such as family violence, Child Protection concerns and elder abuse
  • Impact of a new child or baby with special needs
  • Capacity to adjust to illness/disability and associated lifestyle changes
  • Grief and loss
  • Accommodation
  • Formal and informal support networks

Inclusion criteria:

Please see relevant service program

Exclusion criteria:

Please see relevant service program

How to Refer:

Please see relevant service program

Referrals must include:

Referrals must include a reason for the Social Work referral and consent. ED Social Workers only can accept referrals via page with referrers contact details provided. Priority is given to referrals with urgent discharge needs and / or where there is a risk or safety issue. Examples include family violence, child protection, and elder abuse.

Director/Head of Unit:

Penelope Vye – A/g Associate Director, Allied Health Social Work, Psychology, Pastoral Care

Enquiries:

If you would like any further information about the Social Work Departments across any Northern Health site, please contact Allied Health Reception at The Northern Hospital on 8405 8653 or email Alliedhealthenquiries@nh.org.au