Close up picture of couple holding hands

Westmead Hospital Social Workers are part of your health care team.

Our social workers:
  • Are 4 year university-trained with many years’ experience working in hospitals
  • Provide a service within the guidelines and ethics of the Australian Association of Social Workers
  • Offer a view of women’s health that considers your social, cultural and emotional issues, as well as your physical well-being
  • Aim to give you choices and a say in your health care
  • Provide counselling to women and their families with complex medical and social needs
  • Provide a free and confidential service to patients of Westmead Hospital.

How can a Social Worker help me?

Counselling and support for you, your family and carers
  • Being in hospital can be a stressful time for you, your family and carers if you are having a baby, having treatment or surgery
  • We understand the emotional, social and practical needs you may have if you are pregnant, having a new baby, or have other women’s health problems such as fertility problems or cancer
  • Talking to a trained social worker may help you to see your situation in a different way
  • You, your family and carers may find it helpful speaking to a social worker for counselling and ideas about solving any problems you may be having
  • We also have an Aboriginal Liaison Officer (ALO) to support Aboriginal families when they need health care at Westmead Hospital. [ALO support information]
  • We see women and their families from many different cultural backgrounds
  • We consider your cultural needs when we talk with you and your family
  • Support can include referring you to a group that offers education or the opportunity to meet other people in a similar position to yourself.

Advocacy
  • As part of your treating team, social workers can help with looking at the overall needs of you and your family. Social Workers can help you talk with your treating team about your needs, and any worries that you may have about your treatment affecting yourself and your family
  • Social workers can also talk to other community services on your behalf (if you request.)

Information

Social Workers can give you information about services that may be helpful to you while you are in hospital and after you go home.

Preparing to go home

Social Workers can talk with you, your family and carers and your health care team to help make a safe plan for you to go home.

When might it be helpful to talk with a Social Worker?

Social workers can assist you and provide you with support when you have:
  • A health problem that will affect you now or in the future.
  • Worries about changes in your life due to a health condition, your pregnancy or birth of your baby.
  • Loss of your pregnancy or death of your baby, or any other unexpected death (bereavement information and counselling can be provided or arranged to help you with your feelings)
  • Are told that your baby has a disability or a health problem
  • An unplanned pregnancy - See brochure on unplanned pregnancy
  • Worries about things that may be happening at home (both now or in the past) such as;
  • being hit or pushed
  • being told that you are no good
  • making you feel like a bad or silly person
  • not being given any money for food or things for yourself and your kids
  • being stopped from seeing your friends or family
  • keeping yourself and your children safe
  • Domestic violence page and Aboriginal Liaison officer   
  • Worries about how your family is getting along with each other
  • Feelings of isolation or having no one to talk to
  • Feelings of depression or anxiety (sadness or worry that won’t go away)
  • A need for practical or emotional support when you are in hospital and after you go home

How do I contact a Social Worker?

Social Work Services in the Women’s & Newborn Health Service are available Monday to Friday, 8am until 4:30pm for non-urgent matters.

Westmead Hospital Social Work service provides an after-hours crisis service 7 days a week to support women and families who are experiencing a distressing event

If you would like to talk with a social worker, please tell your doctor, midwife or nurse. They will arrange for a social worker or Aboriginal Liaison Officer to see you.
Or
You can call the Social Work Department by phoning Monday to Friday, 8am to 4:30pm-
  • Westmead Hospital (02) 8890-6699
  • Auburn Hospital (02) 9563-9500

If we are unavailable to speak with you when you call we will get back to you as soon as possible.

How do I contact the Aboriginal Liaison Officer?

Our Aboriginal Liaison Officer at Westmead Hospital is available Monday to Friday 8:00am to 4:30 pm and can be contacted on 0400-346-112 or call Westmead Hospital on 8890-55555 and asked them to page the ALO page 27365.

Grief counselling | Sexual assault | Family support | Domestic/Family violence

Useful links

Community Health Centres
Child and Family Health Nurse services
Red Nose (previously SIDS & Kids)  

Domestic and Family Violence
Bears of Hope
Life’s Little Treasures
Relationships Australia
Cancer Council
Alcohol & Drug Information Service
FARE - Foundation for Alchohol reeaserch & education
ADF Australian Drug Foundation
The Stillbirth Alliance
Child protection helpline
Miracle babies
Pillars of strength
STARTTS - Service for treatment and Rehabilitation of torture and trauma survivors
Women's legal Services
Enable NSW

 


Problems with prescribed / unprescribed drug use or alcohol addiction see Drug Use in Pregnancy [[DUPS]]

Grief support helpline 24 hrs / day 9489-6644
The Family Referral Service 1300 403 373

"An Aboriginal Liaison Officer (ALO) is available to support Aboriginal families when they need health care at Westmead Hospital"