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Social Work

The Johns Hopkins Hospital was among the first hospitals in the nation to establish a Department of Social Work. The significant contributions of social work continue today as they did 100 years ago as the Pediatric-OB/GYN Social Work Department commits to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center’s mission to provide care for sick children and their families.

Clinical social workers in the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center have had graduate education in child and adolescent development, family systems theory, and behavioral/mental health counseling. Social workers understand the impact of illness on the emotional and social functioning of children and their families.

Social Workers Help Families:

  • Cope with the challenges of caring for your child, managing their illness, hospitalization or outpatient treatment plan
  • Support families (children, parents, grandparents, siblings) encountering a crisis, experiencing grief and bereavement or adjusting to a diagnosis
  • Clarify guardianship and decision-making authority
  • Gain a better understanding of the illness and what to expect while receiving treatment
  • Talk with your child or siblings about illness and/or hospitalization
  • Advocate for you and your needs with the medical team (doctors, nurses, therapists) to promote family-centered care
  • Develop pre- and posthospitalization care plans
  • Promote a safe family environment
  • Refer to community agencies for material assistance, including temporary lodging or resources needed to support a safe discharge plan

Programs and Services

Clinical social workers are integral members of your child’s treatment team. We collaborate with the health care providers to assist in meeting the psychological, emotional, social and practical needs of pediatric patients and their families.

There is a social worker assigned to each inpatient medical unit to provide support regardless of assigned medical team or referral source. See our staff page for information on social workers available in outpatient clinics.

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