Social Work


Social Work has its origins in humanitarian, spiritual and philosophic sources. The key goals of social work are the attainment of fulfilment for the individual, commensurate with the demands of social justice.

Social work in a health setting has a long and respected history. It is recognised that illness and adjustment to illness, represent a crisis for all individuals and families. Patients and their families must interact with a complex and unfamiliar medical system at a time when they are distressed and apprehensive.

The social worker’s role in the hospital setting is to provide assessment, counselling, information, advocacy and resources for patients and families. Respect for the individual needs of each client and family, and sensitive, effective intervention, are essential competencies for social workers.

Discharge planning is central to the social worker’s role, involving advocacy both within the hospital and to the many services and agencies in the community, depending on the wishes and requirements of each patient. The social worker will liaise closely with al multidisciplinary team members and make referrals for any support services that may be needed when the patient leaves hospital. Information and education about resources may also be provided and practical assistance given if needed.

If a patient is no longer able to live independently, a social worker is able to assist in planning appropriate support services, at home if possible, or to assist the patient and family or carer to arrange supported accommodation, perhaps in a hostel or nursing home.

Social Workers at War Memorial Hospital are employed in the inpatient unit, outpatients unit,  Aged Care Assessment Team. There is also a part time group worker who facilitates a Stress Management and Relaxation Group, Carers Group and a Parkinson’s Disease Support Group.

To contact the Social Worker at War Memorial Hospital:

  • Inpatients First Floor 9369 0248 or 9369 0231
  • Inpatients Ground Floor 9369 0252
  • Outpatients 9369 0218
  • Group Worker 9369 0250
  • Social Work Team Leader 9369 0145