Social Work and Social Welfare

Social workers provide information, counselling, emotional and practical support. They operate as members of the multidisciplinary health care team that provide services in a broad variety of areas, but their primary concern is to address the social and psychological factors that surround patients’ physical and/or medical presentations.

Social workers may perform the following tasks:

  • provide assessment, advocacy, liaison and supportive counselling services to patients and the families of patients who are critically unwell or have suffered serious trauma
  • assist with problems such as drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, homelessness, suspected child abuse and neglect, rape and sexual assault
  • support individuals who have suffered a sudden death in the family, experienced a major trauma or health crisis, sustained a permanent disability, attempted suicide or self harm, have been victims of domestic and family violence or crime, or who require permanent residential care in an aged care facility
  • facilitate support groups and education programs for patients, their families and carers to share experiences and gain information and coping strategies
  • provide clients with information on or referral to other support services in the community
  • assist patients and their families with issues of a practical nature, such as income support applications and general financial management, travel and accommodation subsidies, priority government housing and disability support applications,
  • work with and for the community to improve the social environment and maximise life potential
  • analyse statistics and write reports, develop policy and evaluate programs, and undertake evidence-based practice and research.

How do I become a Social Worker?

There are many available courses that lead to this profession. Below is information about courses at Monash University.