Social Work

04 April 2024

Social Work Support
The diagnosis of a serious illness brings many changes and can raise lots of questions, both practical and emotional. Everyone has their own way of coping and their own resources. Sometimes we need help from someone outside of the family to help make sense of what is happening, ask our questions and discuss how to adjust to illness and all the changes it brings to our life. The Social Work service of St. Francis Hospice is provided by qualified and experienced social workers who work as part of the multidisciplinary team that includes hospice doctors, nurses, chaplains and others. The service is also extended to the family during their experience of bereavement.


We will work with you to help you manage the challenges that illness and loss can bring. We can help you and your family find ways to communicate about all the changes, care issues, worries for the future, and how to talk to children or someone vulnerable in the family. We can offer advice on how to access practical supports such as carers or financial assistance. We will meet you, or your family member. We can be contacted through any member of the multidisciplinary team. You can also contact the Social Work Secretary directly using the contact information supplied at the top of the page.

Family Meetings
An essential part of the social work role is to hold family meetings, where family members can meet with the hospice team involved in the patient’s care. These meetings provide an opportunity to share information including wishes and choices, ask questions, identify difficulties, and ensure that good communication is maintained. These meetings help patients and families agree a plan of care in partnership with the team.

Work with Children
When serious illness occurs in the family, adults naturally want to protect children from its impact. However, it is vitally important that children are involved in the family’s experience and helped to express their feelings. The Social Work team offers support and advice to parents and families in recognising and managing the specific needs of children and others who may have difficulty with understanding illness and coping with loss.