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What is Social Work?

A Social Worker is an Allied Health professional who provides support and information to people in times of need, in the context of community care or health services. Their clients may include families, students, hospital patients or the elderly. Social Workers are able to provide practical support such as informational counselling and advocacy as well as emotional support and counselling.

Social Work at Irabina

A Social Worker is frequently an important part of the team supporting families at Irabina. Our Social Workers are members of the Australian Association of Social Workers. They support families with regard to accessing the various and complex services they encounter on their journey through Autism Spectrum Disorder. Children with autism may face challenges specific to home life, school life or participation in the community. Help with family issues may include talking about family conflict, negotiation and communication, an impending divorce or separation of parents, or the loss of a loved one.

Parents and other family members can benefit from talking to a Social Workers to ensure that their own emotional needs are met. This could include accessing information about the diagnosis, assessment and treatment approaches, processing what the diagnosis means to parents, siblings and other family members, and working together to assist the child with autism to meet his/her goals.

How do Social Workers Work?

Social Workers at Irabina often assume a short term ‘case management’ role for families in need of support, and can offer longer term support via our Mental Health Social Work Service. Mental Health Social Work Services at Irabina are partly funded via the Commonwealth ‘Better Access to Mental Health Care’ and ‘Chronic Disease Management’ (formerly ‘Enhanced Primary Care’) Plans. Mental Health Social Workers are registered with Medicare Australia and have been assessed as having specialist expertise in Mental Health.

Parents and Carers of children with autism may seek the support of a Mental Health Social Worker at Irabina for a range of different reasons, including:

  • Understanding and Managing Carer Stress
  • Casework and Case Management Support
  • Parenting Education and Support
  • Family and Sibling Support
  • Carer Grief and Loss Counselling
  • Interpersonal and Relationship Difficulties
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Domestic and Family Violence
  • Financial Stress and Support
  • Advocacy Issues
  • Direct Referrals and Linkages to Service Networks

If you have any queries regarding Social Work services at Irabina, please contact the Head of Clinical Services, or one of our caring, professional Social Workers.