While in the Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU) a social worker who specializes in perinatal social work may speak with you and your family.
What does a social worker do for families and babies in the N/IICU?
- Social workers understand the impact having a hospitalized child has on all family members.
- They help the interdisciplinary team recognize cultural needs of families, i.e., language services, religious customs, rituals, traditions, beliefs.
- Social workers are a link between the family and medical team. They are an integral part of the interdisciplinary care team. They help families find their voice and navigate the complex CHOP N/IICU system.
- Social work services are available to all families.
How can a social worker help me support my baby?
Social workers recognize that you, as a parent, are an essential part of the team. They can help you:
- Normalize, understand and express your emotional experiences.
- Identify support systems and talk with you about your feelings.
- Understand how your baby communicates.
- Sort through difficult decisions.
- Find support in the hospital or your community.
- Connect you with resources ( i.e., local housing, charitable organizations, March of Dimes website, CarePages).
- Adjust to the Hospital environment and inform you about available services.
- Prepare for the needs of your child at discharge.
- Be a parent to your baby.
- Identify ways to cope including journaling, scrapbooking, parent-to-parent and online resources.
- Celebrate your baby’s milestones.
- Promote healthy/positive infant mental health.
Qualifications of a social worker
Social workers have a graduate degree in social work that includes specialized training in counseling, child development and accessing community resources. They have many years experience helping families cope with the unique challenge of having a baby in the N/IICU.
Social workers have expertise in helping families cope with the stressors of everyday living and stay current on new learning to provide the best care to children and their families.
The social work department is happy to answer any questions you may have about its services and resources for parents.
Meet our team
Social Work Supervisor in N/IICU
Elissa Truitt, MSSA, LSW
Mariah Corcoran, MSW, LSW
Monica Figlarz, MSW
As a partner on your child’s healthcare team, feel free to contact Elissa Truitt, MSSA, LSW, at 215-590-2118 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated April 2012