Social Workers

St Joseph’s Social work service has two registered, graduate Social Workers and one qualified Social Auxiliary Worker who together provide the complex services which enable children and their parents/caregivers to cope better with chronic medical conditions and help the families to stay intact.  The social work team has the skills and experience to provide valuable and varied support to patients and their families at critical times in their treatment at St Joseph’s Home; they may be called ambassadors of hope.

The social work team has the following responsibilities:

  • The Social Workers screen all patients when they are admitted, readmitted or discharged from the home. The team helps with orientation of newly admitted patients and their parents, ensuring that they know and understand the way the Home and the school function.  The necessary permission from parents or guardians for the children to participate in events at St Joseph’s is explained by the Social Workers and signed consent forms obtained from parents.
  • General enquiries about admission to the home are answered by Social Workers.
  • Social workers maintain contact with families of patients throughout their stay at St Joseph’s Home to facilitate caregiver/parental involvement in the child’s recovery process as much as possible. If necessary, Social Workers may arrange food parcels for families during home visits. Social workers may provide counselling to HIV-infected parents. Parents are informed that accommodation is available to them during critical phases of their child’s treatment and they are helped to access this when necessary.  Support to families is provided on a holistic basis.
  • Social Workers compile and manage a treatment plan for each child. They provide counselling on an individual basis to address such problems as behaviour, adjustment, life skills, school adjustment and depression.  Play therapy and group work may be used and patients may be referred to the Child and Family Units of the Acute Hospitals if the intensity of a problem makes it necessary.
  • In preparation for discharge and upon discharge from St Joseph’s, the Social Workers network with community resources and support structures in the child’s community. If the patient is unable to return to his/her home for any reason, social workers help to identify alternative accommodation.