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Medical Social Work (HP)

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Medical Social Work
Temple Street Children’s University Hospital
Temple Street
Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 878 4212

The Medical Social Work Department (MSW) at Temple St, Children’s University Hospital, offers a number of services to the children in our care and their families. These services are available for children and their families who attend the hospital on both an outpatient and inpatient basis. We recognise the fact that a child’s illness and subsequent attendance at hospital can be a stressful time for families, therefore we offer both practical and emotional support with the aim of minimising these difficulties.

MSW’s work as part as the hospital’s multi-disciplinary team. Our primary focus is the emotional and social impact of illness hospitalisation on the lives of our patients and their families. We work, together with our colleagues, to offer a holistic service to our patients and their families.

Services Available

Childhood Illness

It is recognised that a diagnosis of a long-term condition or illness impacts on the whole family system. We offer support and counselling to children, parents and families who have a new diagnosis of illness or long- term condition. We assist families to make contact with local services that may offer support on the child’s discharge e.g. local health boards or specialist voluntary services.

We are also aware of the impact a serious diagnosis may have on the siblings of the patient. Children are likely to have a number of concerns relating to their brother or sister’s attendance at hospital, the long-term prognosis and how the illness/condition will effect family life in general. The siblings of children who attend the hospital on an on-going basis may feel alienated from the hospital. In order to address this we in the MSW Dept. have initiated a sibling camp to be held on a regular basis. The aim of this project is to provide an opportunity for siblings to spend some time in the hospital, to learn more about their sibling’s condition and to receive therapeutic support.

Bereavement

In the event of the death of a child we offer a support and counselling service to families both at the time of the bereavement and on a follow- up basis. Parents are offered one to one support and assistance on both an emotional and a practical level. Parents are also invited to attend parent support groups organised by the department in conjunction with the hospital Bereavement Coordinator. These therapeutic groups give an opportunity for bereaved parents to meet and offer support to each other. We also run bereavement groups for siblings. These groups facilitate and expression of feelings and help children to normalise their loss experience

Child Welfare and Protection

From time to time families may have difficulties in caring for their children and meeting all their needs. We offer counselling and support to families who have problems relating to family separation, homelessness and relationship difficulties. We accept that the child’s welfare is paramount and work closely with parents, other colleagues and statutory authorities where these issues arise. Information is also available on social welfare and health board entitlements

The Medical Social Workers accept referrals from the multi-disciplinary team, from patients and their families or from outside agencies.

We are located upstairs in the main outpatients department.

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