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Social Work Support

Healthcare social workers provide a wide range of support in dealing with emotional and practical issues related to kidney disease.

When to Refer to Social Work



  • Codes/Critical Events
  • Child Protection (suspected physical, sexual, or emotional maltreatment)
  • Child Welfare Alerts
  • Vulnerability due to Life Stage and Social Situation (Child & Youth)
  • Vulnerability due to Cognitive/Physical Deficits; and Abuse, Neglect/Self-Neglect (Adult Guardianship) 
  • High Risk Behaviours
  • Harm to Self &/or Others
  • Depression and Suicidal Ideation/Attempts
  • Unsafe Environments
  • Violence in Relationships
  • Human Trafficking
  • Substance Misuse &/or Abuse
  • Concurrent Disorders – Mental Health and Substance Use with Safety/Risk Challenges
  • Homelessness – associated with Safety/Risk, Harm to Self /Others
  • Complex Legal/Ethical issues
  • Crisis Intervention/Traumatic Event (includes assault, significant injury/change in health status or unexpected medical outcomes)
  • Death & Bereavement (Adult/Child including miscarriages, still birth, etc) 
  • Treatment Decisions/Quality of Life discussions, including End of Life 
  • Advance Care Planning
  • Adjustments & Transitions (i.e. pre & post diagnosis, treatment trauma, critical illness, life altering prognosis, significant change in function or lifestyle, etc.)
  • Anxiety or other Mental Health Concerns
  • Isolation / Limited Support Network
  • Family Systems Challenges (i.e. roles, relationships, conflicts, parenting concerns, separation/divorce, grief & loss, etc)
  • Caregiver Responsibility Challenges (Adult &/or Child)



  • Complex Situations Requiring Enhanced Communication/Planning (i.e. collaborative care planning conferences)
  • Barriers to Transition Planning or Accessing Necessary Resources 
  • Engaging Individuals/Families for Issues of Participation/Compliance with Treatment
  • Coordinating Legal Processes (Adoption, Surrogacy, Temporary Substitute Decision Maker, etc)
  • Managing Chronic Conditions (ABI, ALS, COPD, CVA, Diabetes, MH, MS, Renal, etc)
  • Individuals/Families with Frequent Hospital Contacts  &/or Multiple Service Providers
  • Clinical Pathways
  • Advocacy & Promoting Self-Advocacy
  • Barriers Associated with Social Determinants of Health (i.e. social status, culture, language, education, poverty, etc)
  • Transition Planning/Continuity of Care
  • Eligibility for Various Services/Benefits (ICBC, Veterans Affairs, Work Safe BC etc)
  • Housing Resources (tenancy issues, shelters, boarding homes, mental health facility, etc)
  • Financial Concerns (accessing income supports, medical coverage or difficulty managing financial matters)
  • Transportation
  • Legal Assistance Education
  • Immigration (sponsorship breakdown, illegal immigrant, visitor, etc)
  • Cultural Connections (interpretation arrangements, links to cultural/spiritual  community)
  • Linking/Referrals  &/or Community Resource Education (i.e. Public Health, food/meal programs, private pay resources, Detox or treatment for substance use, etc )

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SOURCE: Social Work Support ( )
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