Western Health Social Workers provide information, support and counselling to patients and their family/carer as they adjust to hospital, cope with changed health needs and determine the most appropriate care to meet their needs.
Social Workers focus on the whole person and their social circumstances by advocating for patient and family/carer rights, improving access to care, and ensuring dignity, choice and self-determination.
Social Work services can be explained by looking at four different roles the social worker may have in working with a patient and their family/carer, during their involvement with Western Health:
Welfare role –practical support and access to services and resources in the community
Therapeutic role –emotional support throughout the person's stay in hospital and after they go home.
Education role –access to appropriate information regarding their journey through the health system and how to get community services.
Statutory role –help patients understand their rights and laws relating to their healthcare.
Health Services Act
Guardian and Administrations Act
Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities
Mental Health Act
Family Violence Protection Act
Youth Children and Families Act
The Western Health Social Work Department is open Monday – Friday 8.00am – 4.30pm across Footscray Hospital, Sunshine Hospital and Williamstown Hospital. Social workers are available via the ward and outpatient departments and by their pager number via switchboard on Ph. 03 8345 6666
The Social Work Department comprises of approximately 40 Social Workers who work as part of the interdisciplinary treating teams across 3 sites of Western Health. Social Workers offer specialised services across all wards and some specialty outpatient clinics including Acute, Sub-Acute, Women's & Children's, Cancer Services and the Immediate Response Service.
Professional Supervision: A formal structure provides each Social Worker with regular supervision and a model of clinical leadership. Professional supervision provides clinical support and guidance, education, administration and accountability to support staff in their work performance.
Professional Development: The professional development model facilitates both formal professional education (provided by external educational opportunities and internal Western Health) along with a peer developed and facilitated model of learning. Professional development is tailored to the learning needs of the Grade 1, Grade 2 and Senior Clinician staff groups and aligns to strategic priorities.
Clinical Education: The Western Health Social Work department has a commitment to the development of the Social Work profession and has formed a partnership with both the University of Melbourne and Victoria University to provide professional fieldwork education to tertiary Social Work students.
The Social Work Department has an active program of quality and research intiatives that align to the Western Health Best Care Framework and which aim to continually improve the quality of Social Work service provided to the patients and families/carers of Western Health. All Social Workers participate in the design, development and application of quality and research projects.
10th November 2015 - N.Lind & A. Morris, 12th September 2014 – J. Valentine & L. Stalker, Single Session Social Work Interventions in the Radiotherapy Setting – providing efficient and effective outcomes for patients and their families. Oral presentation by Jessica Valentine at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Allied Health cancer care symposium, Melbourne.
5th September 2014 - S. Bolt, A. Brinksma, C. Dow, A. Farid, R. Fu, L. Stalker, M. Udorly, H. Webb, More than a Committee – Embedding a Research and Quality Culture in Social Work Practice. Poster presentation at the Health Directors Social Work Group Research Symposium, Melbourne.
August 2014 - H. Bevans, K. Coffey, A. Gallagher, K. Kessner, H. Mulcare, L. Stalker, J. Valentine, The frequency of allied health interventions to lung cancer patients at Sunshine Hospital Radiotherapy Centre: data to guide future service delivery. Poster presentations at the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA 2014) Melbourne.
18th October, 2013 - H. Baines, A. Ingram & L. Stalker. Fieldwork: How can we support students to learn more about projects and research? Oral presentation by H. Baines & L. Stalker at the Health Social Work Directors Group Research Symposium, Melbourne.
8th August, 2013 - L. Stalker, N. Alexander, H. Bevans, S. Davies, K. Kessner, H. Mulcare, A. Szendroe, E. Wallace. Developing an allied health service in a new radiotherapy centre in Melbourne’s West. Poster presentation at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Care Allied Health Cancer Care Symposium, Melbourne.
13th November 2012 - L. Stalker, N. Alexander, H. Bevans, S. Davies, K. Kessner, H. Mulcare, A. Szendroe, E. Wallace, Developing an allied health service in a new radiotherapy centre in Melbourne’s West. Poster presentation at the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) conference held on 13th – 15th November, Brisbane
Quality Assurance Approvals:QA2014.114 Approval Date: 11 November 2014 Project Title: The Frequency of Allied health Interventions to Lung Cancer Patients at Sunshine Hospital Radiotherapy Centre: data to guide future service delivery. Principal Investigator: L. Stalker. Associate investigators: H. Bevans, H. Mulcare, K. Kessner, K. Coffey, A. Gallagher, J. Valentine.QA2014.71 Approval Date: 06 August 2014
Project Title: Single Session Social Work Interventions in the Radiotherapy Setting- Providing efficient and effective outcomes for patients and their families. Principal Investigator: L. Stalker. Associate investigator: J. Valentine.