5.5.1a Parental handout - role of the kidney transplant social worker

  • Renal social work:  An explanation for families

    The role of the social worker is to assist patients and families reduce stress and achieve optimum functioning in the emotional and social areas of their lives. Social workers provide counselling and other services that may be needed when a child has a physical and/or emotional health problem. They also draw on their knowledge of community resources in order to assist with issues such as accommodation, transport and finances. Social workers also interview families prior to transplant in order to ascertain the supports required during the work-up and waiting periods. During the interview they pay particular attention to the uniquely stressful conditions that each individual family may be likely to experience. This information will be sensitively handled with a particular view to issues of privacy.

    You may want to talk to someone about

    • Your child's and family's adjustment to illness and treatment.
    • Concerns about your child's development and well being.
    • Issues relating to dialysis and transplant.
    • How to deal more effectively with stress.
    • Parenting issues and concerns about your other children.
    • Family conflict which effects your ability to cope.
    • Concerns about communication with health care team and the hospital environment.
    • Referral to specialist counsellors eg. marital, domestic violence, financial, gambling, drug and alcohol.

    If you would like to see a social worker, either speak to your consultant or call the renal social worker directly on 9345 6111 and ask them to connect you to the renal social worker.


    The information gathered by social worker will be presented verbally to the renal team members in the interest of supporting patients and their families more fully. Staff will protect the family's privacy and the information provided will be used only to inform those staff members directly involved in the patient's care. Significant portions of the interview will not be recorded. All staff employed by Women and Children's Health have a duty to protect the privacy of personal information. Strict policies provide staff with guidelines for collection, use, release and disposal of personal information.