Social Work

Serving children and their families

At Boston Children's Hospital, we understand that hospitalization, illness or injury is a stressful experience. Clinical social workers are available to help patients and their families deal with the broad range of psychosocial issues and stresses related to coping with illness and maintaining health.

Who we are

The Social Work program is made up of a variety of professionals and programs dedicated to integrating the social and psychological needs of patients and families with their health care. Social workers, resource specialists and advocates form a network that addresses the challenges families face, increases accessibility to health care and other human services, and serves as a bridge between the hospital setting and a patient's family life, home and community. We are guided by core professional values promoting self-determination, dignity, respect for the beliefs and practices of different cultures, and advocating for social justice in the form of patient rights and access to resources.

What we do

As members of the multidisciplinary health care team, clinical social workers are trained, licensed professionals who provide a range of psychosocial services to enhance the quality of care for children and their families, both within the hospital and the community.

Social workers help children, teens and families build their strength and ability to cope. By understanding patient and family concerns, social work professionals join with families to develop options and plans that meet their child's health, developmental and emotional needs.

Services provided depend on the unique needs of each patient or family, and may include counseling and assistance with issues such as:

  • Catastrophic or chronic illness
  • Coping with diagnosis, illness or hospitalization
  • Impact of illness on family members
  • Parenting and care-giving concerns
  • Grief, loss or end of life issues
  • Family issues or conflicts
  • Developmental or life changes
  • Violence in the home or community
  • Cultural differences
  • Behavioral problems
  • Trauma
  • School or educational concerns
  • Financial difficulties
  • Housing problems
  • Adoption or foster care
  • Access to community resources
  • Depression, anxiety, psychiatric concerns
  • Substance abuse

Other social work services

Child Protection Program

The Child Protection Program (CPP) at Boston Children’s Hospital was established by a team of professionals from various specialties throughout the hospital, who shared a commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of children by addressing the issues of family violence and child maltreatment. A core goal of the CPP is to ensure that children suspected of being maltreated receive appropriate medical care, psychosocial support and advocacy to address immediate medical and safety needs.