The social worker in the Pediatrics Department is an integral part of the multidisciplinary staff and provides professional service.
Hospitalization is generally a stressful experience for a sick child and the child's family. Hospitalization causes anxiety over the health and wellbeing of the sick child and also leads to sudden change in the family's routine, undermining the balance of the family dynamic. The social worker's job is to provide emotional support to the child and family during this time of crisis and stress, and to help with guidance for personal and family organization during the hospital stay and help them prepare for discharge. If continued treatment is necessary after discharge from the hospital, the department social worker coordinates this with the relevant therapists in the community.
The department staff refers patients and families to meet with the department social worker, and the social worker also actively identifies them when the staff believes that parents are having difficulty functional, getting organized during the hospital stay and when it is suspected that the child may be at risk or have suicidal tendencies. If necessary, the family may also seek out the social worker.
Social service professionals work actively to identify minors at risk and handle cases of suspected domestic violence (neglect, physical, sexual and emotional abuse). Social work intervention focuses on investigation and psychosocial assessment of the family profile and parental functioning. Based on the assessment, the case is referred to the relevant agencies in the community, as required by law (social worker under the Child and Youth Law, social services, police and well baby clinics) and a plan for releasing the minor is created.
Another area for which social services is responsible is advice on exercising social rights and directing the patient to the relevant organizations in the community.
The department social worker trains parents on safety in the home to heighten awareness and prevent accidents involving children. A project that is currently running is called Personal Service for the Safety of Children, and is designed to promote child safety and prevent secondary trauma.