About the Social Work

The Department of Social Work is staffed by nearly 100 masters-trained social workers. Our social workers help patients and families cope with the emotional and practical challenges of new or ongoing illness. They provide services to your family during inpatient hospitalizations, when visiting an outpatient office or clinic, and even after your child returns home. 

At Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, social workers are members of interdisciplinary teams and provide a variety of clinical services to children, adolescents and families.

A social worker’s role as part of the medical team is to offer support, information and education. We help assess the psychosocial needs of your child and family, provide supportive counseling and also connect you to the appropriate community or hospital resources.

How a social worker can help

Most social work staff work with specific programs, where they provide specialized expertise. Clinical services provided by social work include:

  • Psychosocial assessment
  • Crisis intervention
  • Supportive counseling around adjustment to illness, hospitalization and/or outpatient care
  • Navigating the hospital system
  • Behavioral health assessments
  • Supportive counseling for loss/bereavement
  • Child advocacy/protection
  • Assistance accessing hospital and community resources, including healthcare and insurance coverage
  • Consultation with hospital staff and/or other community agencies
  • Discharge planning

Our job is to connect you with the Hospital and community resources you need. Here are some ways social workers help families:

  • We answer questions about insurance, school access, legal rights and Hospital or community resources.
  • We are there for families who have just received devastating news, such as a new cancer diagnosis or chronic illness.
  • We can help determine what options are available to you when you miss work or your child misses school due to a medical condition.


The Department of Social Work provides 24-hour coverage seven days a week. Regular hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Extended hours on-call service is available evenings/nights and weekends for patient care emergencies.

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