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Social Work

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Our social workers are members of the healthcare team who assist patients and families with the stressors often associated with sudden or chronic illness and its impact on everyday life. We help assess the needs of patients and families, provide supportive counseling, and connect patients and families to the appropriate community or hospital resources.

 

The mission of Akron Children’s Hospital’s social work team is to provide professional social work services in collaboration with your child’s healthcare team.

We can assist with transportation needs, overnight accommodations during your child’s hospital stay, medical insurance questions, applying for Family Medical Leave, and in some cases, financial assistance.

We often consult with your medical team and help facilitate communication with your doctors and nurses, as well as coordinate your child’s discharge from the hospital. 

Our social workers hold master’s degrees and are licensed by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. We must adhere to current licensing requirements in order to remain in good standing.

Our social workers are found in virtually every area of the hospital's Akron and Beeghly campuses. We are also available at our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital, our pediatric inpatient units at Aultman Hospital, St. Joseph Warren Hospital and Wooster Community Hospital, and our special care nurseries at St. Joseph Warren Hospital, Wooster Community Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Akron General and Summa Health System.

On the Akron campus, we are available in:

  • All inpatient units
  • Adolescent Medicine
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Clinic
  • Burn Center
  • CARE Center
  • Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Craniofacial Center
  • Cystic Fibrosis Center
  • Day Rehabilitation Program
  • Down Syndrome Program
  • Emergency Department 
  • Endocrinology
  • Epilepsy Monitoring Unit
  • Gastroenterology
  • Healthy Weight Clinic
  • Heart Center
  • Hematology-Oncology
  • Infant Therapy
  • Infectious Disease
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit
  • Kidney Dialysis Program
  • Locust Pediatric Care Group
  • Myelodysplasia Clinic
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Nephrology
  • NeuroDevelopmental Science Center
  • Outpatient Surgery
  • Palliative Care
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Rheumatology
  • Sickle Cell Program
  • Ventilator Respiratory Technology
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy

How can I speak with a social worker? You may ask your child’s doctor or nurse to contact us for you. Social workers are available on each inpatient floor and in most of our outpatient clinics and the Emergency Department. You may also call the Social Work department, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 330-543-8830. A social worker is available 24 hours a day.

Are social work services confidential? Any conversations you have with a licensed social worker are confidential. This means that in most instances, your hospital social worker is not permitted to disclose information obtained from you to anyone other than your healthcare team without your consent. However, there are exceptions to this general rule, and we may be required to disclose otherwise confidential information in certain situations, such as when:

  • Concerns of child abuse or neglect, elder abuse or neglect, or abuse or neglect of a disabled person
  • Concern of harm of self or others

Who can I turn to for emotional support? During your child’s hospitalization, you may feel stressed, worried or frightened. Your social worker is available to talk to you and your family about these feelings. In addition, we can connect you with other support services including our chaplains and child life specialists and psychologists.

Depending on your family’s specific needs, our social workers can connect you with a number of community resources including:

Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (DJFS): Available in every county throughout Ohio, the Department of Jobs and Family Services helps families through these programs: Job Services and Unemployment, Medicaid, Food Assistance, Cash Assistance, Child Support, Protective Services, Child Care, and Foster Care and Adoption.

Women, Infants and Children (WIC):  This special supplemental nutrition program is for women, infants and children. WIC helps income-eligible pregnant women, new or breastfeeding moms, infants, and children up to 5 years of age who are at risk due to inadequate nutrition. WIC provides nutrition education; breastfeeding education and support; supplemental, highly nutritious foods such as cereal, eggs, milk, whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables, and iron-fortified infant formula; and referrals to prenatal and pediatric healthcare and other maternal and child health services.

To find a WIC office near you, call 1-800-755-4769.

Social Security Income (SSI): Children with disabilities may qualify for Social Security payments. Our social workers can help determine if your child is eligible and assist with the application process.

For more information, call 1-800-772-1213. 

Children with Medical Handicaps Program (CMH)This healthcare program is offered through the Ohio Department of Health. It links families of children with special healthcare needs to a network of quality care providers and helps them obtain payment for their child’s services.

For more information, call: 

614-466-1700
1-800-755-4769 (Toll-free for parents only)
1-800-750-0750 (TTY) 

Help Me Grow: This voluntary family support program is for pregnant women and new parents. Offered in every county in Ohio through a well-established network, Help Me Grow promotes the healthy growth and development of babies and young children. Home visitors are trained professionals who use a non-judgmental and compassionate approach to empower parents with the skills, tools and confidence they need to nurture the healthy growth of their children. The parenting education and child development resources help families maximize this critical period of development in their child’s life, providing a foundation for future learning and success.

For more information, call 1-800-755-4769.

Disability Rights: This organization provides legal advocacy and rights protection to a wide range of people with disabilities in Ohio. Assistance is offered for issues such as abuse, neglect, discrimination, access to assistive technology devices, special education, housing, employment, community integration, voting and rights protection issues within the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

For more information, call:

614-466-7264 
800-282-9181 (Toll-free in Ohio only)
614-728-2553 (TTY)
800-858-3542 (TTY toll-free in Ohio only)

Voices for Ohio’s Children: This non-partisan, statewide network of families, professionals and organizations addresses public policies to make sure children are well-educated, healthy and safe.

For more information, call 614-221-5204.

Wrightslaw Yellow Pages for Kids: Through this directory, you may find educational consultants, psychologists, educational diagnosticians, healthcare providers, academic therapists, tutors, speech language therapists, occupational therapists, coaches, advocates and attorneys for children with disabilities.
You will also find special education schools, learning centers, treatment programs, parent groups, respite care, community centers, grassroots organizations and government programs for children with disabilities.

211 Ohio United Way: Through this website, you can search for the helpline in your county, which can connect you to a variety of resources.

Akron Summit Community Action and Community Health: The “HUB” provides community health workers in Summit County neighborhoods who can connect eligible clients to services such as medical care, housing, food, transportation, Medicaid, WIC and other benefits. Community health workers take a lead role in coordinating all the services clients need, working with other care coordinators, social workers and medical care providers. 

For more information, call 330-376-7730.

Nurturing Parent Program: This partnership between Akron Children’s Hospital and Kohl’s Cares provides individuals and families with strategies and skills for making healthy lifestyle choices. The program is for Summit County residents only and promotes positive parent-child interaction and healthy relationships by focusing on the unique developmental needs of children from birth to age 5.

For more information, call 330-543-0736.

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