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Hospital-based social worker smiling into the camera

News & media

A day in the life of a hospital-based social worker

When a child with cancer is admitted to hospital, their family will be supported by an on-ward Oncology Social Worker. For those who have not been through the experience of childhood cancer, the support that they provide can seem like a mystery, but they are the unsung heroes in the family’s support team.

Hi there,

I should introduce myself as we may have never met. My name is Amy and I’m a Redkite Hospital- Based Social Worker.

Before I began my studies in Social Work, I knew I wanted to be a Paediatric Social Worker.

I have been working in a Redkite funded position for over two-and-a-half years now and have seen many families walk in-and-out of the hospital doors.

My role usually begins when a family receives the devastating news that their child has cancer. I am often part of the new-diagnosis meeting and am there to help children and families manage and hold the emotional news.  My role moving forward is to walk alongside families throughout treatment and post-treatment, whether that results in survivorship or palliative care and bereavement.

No two days are the same in a paediatric oncology unit. But on any given day, I am doing anything from providing emotional support and undertaking clinical assessments to advocacy and identifying and linking families to resources that they may find meaningful. Sometimes, I even play a role helping other staff members deal with the impact of working with children with cancer and their families.

Overall, I see my role as someone who will sit with children and their families when things are hard, messy and uncomfortable. Families often tell me it helps to talk to someone who gets it; someone who is part of a world their friends and community may not understand.

Donors like yourself make it possible for me to be there for families, to provide emotional support on their toughest days, and financial assistance when they need it the most. Your donations offer support to families in real-time as they are facing the unimaginable.

This year has been particularly tough for families with financial stress and isolation due to COVID-19 further exacerbating the already-difficult juggling act of living between hospital and home.

Without support, without social workers, without donors and everyone that gathers around a family to wrap them up and walk with them through their cancer journey, I don’t know how they would get through.

Your support helps our team to continue walking alongside families every step of the way.

Thank you!

Amy

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