Social workers provide a variety of services, and each treatment centre is organized a little differently. If the social worker at your HTC is not able to provide the particular service you need, he/she will give you information about other ways to find that service.
The following are examples of how the social worker can support you:
Psychosocial Assessment: The goal of the social worker is to understand all people as individuals who are part of a family and community. Social workers gather information about who is supportive to you in your life, including family, friends and community memberships. We want to learn about your important personal family history, your needs, concerns, strengths, education and/or employment status. Your social worker will want to know about what is going well in your life and how you usually cope with new and challenging situations. Based upon the information gathered, we will work together to address your concerns. The focus of our work together will be reevaluated as we go along.
Counseling/Psychotherapy: Social workers are professionally trained to provide individual, family and group therapy. The onset of illness or injury and can be stressful and hard to cope with. Chronic illness and medical crises can be challenging to relationships, marriages and parenting decisions Diagnosis of a bleeding disorder can bring emotional pain or feelings of guilt. These are rare health problems, and can lead to feelings of isolation. There is grief and adjustment required for everyone in the family. Social workers offer counseling to assist individuals with bleeding disorders and their families to adapt to their new circumstance.
Advocacy: Social workers advocate on behalf of patients and their families; educating, empowering, and assisting them to be effective partners in managing their own care. It is important that individuals with bleeding disorders and their families have a chance to have their concerns listened to and addressed. Your social worker can help you understand patient rights and help you communicate your concerns to your health care team members and to persons within any school/employment/recreational organization.
Patient, Family and Community Education: As part of the health care team and with your or your parent’s consent, social workers educate and work with other service providers in your community to coordinate care and help others to better understand your unique circumstances. Individuals that we may speak with include staff from your child’s school and/or daycare, community resource personnel like provincial income replacement or disability programs, a coach or an employer etc . Social workers provide education to patients and families regarding the HTC system. We also work closely with the Canadian Hemophilia Society to offer a parent education program for families with a child with a bleeding disorder. It is called Parents Empowering Parents, or PEP.
Resources, Supports and Discharge Planning: Social workers assist individuals with bleeding disorders and their families to prepare for admissions to the hospital or for outpatient appointments. Social workers also help you plan for when you leave the hospital. Bleeding disorders can lead to work interruption and financial hardship. We know about community services related to income assistance, travel assistance and home support services. In addition we may be of support to individuals with bleeding disorders and their families during times of transition or change (e.g.transferring from pediatric to adult clinic).