The role of the social worker can be very valuable at a time of crisis as they are able to visit people at home as well as in hospital. This can help in building an overall picture of the patient’s life, see what support networks they have at home and look at any other areas that could be causing difficulties.
Social workers can have a role in assisting with relationship difficulties and preventing isolation. We have access to various charities that can assist with holidays, household appliances, etc. Contact can also be made with the patient’s local social services departments who can offer their own assessment with regard to localised services.
Social workers have a basic working knowledge of benefits and allowances and fully acknowledge that having a chronic condition can incur expense and make things difficult for those on low incomes. As the welfare system is very complex and forever changing social workers will often seek further advice on your behalf or refer you to a specialist benefit advisor in your local area.
Discussion with social workers is confidential and would not be shared with others without permission. There can be times however when social workers are statutorily bound to share information with regard to those believed to be at risk of significant harm.
Social workers can see individuals and / or significant others on the ward, in clinic, at home by prior arrangement or by using our virtual technology social work clinic, which enables me to connect with you through your computer, similar to using ‘skype’. This is a new service we can offer and can save you from having to drive long distances to see me in the CF Centre if you need any help with forms or for advice.