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Social Work

We provide counselling and support services to patients and families who are hospitalized or attending one of our clinics.

​We provide:

  • crisis intervention
  • supportive counselling for loss and bereavement, individual, family and group counselling, financial and practical assistance as well as community liaison and advocacy

Social workers are available to all patients, as well as their families, who are hospitalized or are attending an outpatient clinic. Social workers are part of your child’s health care team at the hospital.  

Referrals to social work services may occur automatically as part of the health care team or from a physician, other staff, a community agency or directly from the patient or parent.

A child’s medical or mental health condition can cause a great deal of family stress. The child, as well as other family members, can sometimes have fears and worries which affect relationships and the ability to carry out daily responsibilities. Family members and caregivers may have to adjust to changes in routine and extra financial needs.

Ways a social worker can help

Support during periods of crisis

Social workers work on teams which deal with short term hospitalizations and provide crisis counseling but can also refer to community counselling as needed

Provide one-on-one counseling for a child or youth or their parents and/or family members

Meeting with the social worker is an opportunity for families to discuss concerns about their child, as well as personal and family stress. Medical and mental health conditions can impact a whole family’s functioning. The social worker can help shed light on issues, work through difficult decisions and plan solutions .When an illness results in a loss, family members experience a range of difficult feelings. Some illnesses are life threatening. However, there are many types of other losses associated with a medical or mental health condition. The social workers can help families begin to cope with the loss through individual, family and group counselling. Additionally the social worker is aware of community resources that may assist the family in coping with their grief and loss.

Facilitating family support groups

Social workers lead, or know about, many support groups where family members meet and share with others experiencing similar concerns.

Find community resources

A social worker can help find community resources, whether it is for financial, home support or other community supports.

This can take many forms such as: needing a place to stay while a child is receiving treatment, needing financial assistance with practical needs, navigating the hospital or health care system, sorting out how to get community services.


Advocate for child and family during hospitalization as well as well as in the community

A social worker can be an advocate and help get the services to meet a family’s practical needs as well as help to navigate the health care and community support system.

Our social workers at BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill Center for Children are trained at the Masters level from accredited universities and are registered with the BC College of Social Workers.



How we help

The Social Work Department provides services to BC Children’s 


Support groups

Eating disorders

Monthly group (Thursdays) 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

Facilitated by the Eating Disorders social workers

This group is pen to parents and caregivers of children and youth who have been assessed In the program and parents can still come to the group if their child doesn’t come back for treatment

Interested parents can contact the eating disorders social worker at (604) 875-3690

Pregnancy loss

Bi-weekly (alternate Wednesday) 4:00p.m. - 6:00 p.m. 
Contact: Bertha Cohen (604) 875-3788

Grief & loss

Grief/Loss Support Group through Griefworks BC
Sibling Grief Support Group
Children’s Grief Support Group
Teen Grief Support
For more information or to register – contact:
Griefworks BC
(604) 875-2741

Online resources

Financial help

CKNW Orphan’s Fund 
David Foster Foundation 
Kidney Foundation 
Lions Society 
Gizeh Shriners 
War Amps 
You Are Not Alone 
Angel Flight 
Variety Club The Children’s Charity 

Legal help

Adoption Act -
Adult Guardianship Act -
Child, Family And Community Service Act -
Freedom Of Information And Protection Of Privacy Act -
Hospital Act -
Infant's Act -
Mental Health Act -

Government information

BC Ambulance Service -  
BC Government Directory

Employment Insurance

Government Of British Columbia
Medical Services Plan
Ministry Of Children & Family Development -
Ministry of Social Development and Innovation -
At Home Program-



Ability Online -
First Call

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