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When your child is diagnosed with a serious illness, it impacts the entire family. Your social worker can be a lifeline.
Social workers can help your family deal with the emotional issues surrounding treatment and the practical matters of day-to-day life. A social worker is part of your child’s care team. They may even be one of the first people you meet.
If for some reason you have not met your social worker, ask a member of your child’s care team. They can connect your family to the social work department.
Social workers can assist from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. Social workers can work with your family to create and maintain a “new normal”.
Your child’s social worker assesses your family’s needs. Then they develop a plan to support you.
Your social worker’s notes are part of your child’s medical record. Your social worker may share information if the information is needed for legal reasons (court order), someone says they may hurt themselves or another person, or you share information about abuse or possible abuse. This includes abuse of a child, an older person, or someone with a disability.
“What do social workers…do?”
St. Jude Social Work Director Erica Sirrine shares a few things she has learned over the past 20+ years of being a social worker.
“You are the amazing heroes in my story and the stories of so many other social workers. You are our "why."
Every hospital is different. But social workers may assist patient families with how to:
Social workers play an essential role in treatment.
Reviewed: September 2022