Team and Role

Social workers help patients who are experiencing mental or physical health problems to cope with their social, emotional, and practical concerns. Working together with patients and their care partners, we provide a range of counselling services, community information and referral as well as discharge planning. What differentiates social workers from other professionals is our focus on the social context of clients’ lives and on the resources available to help resolve their problems.

Who we are

All social workers at Queensway Carleton Hospital have a master’s degree in social work (M.S.W.) and are registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (R.S.W.).


Where we are Located

We can be found in all areas of the hospital – Medical and Surgical units, Intensive Care, Acute Care of the Elderly, Alternate Level of Care (ALC), Rehabilitation, Transition to Home Program, Mental Health, Emergency, Childbirth Centre, Out-Patient Clinics and Geriatric Day Hospital. Most social workers have office space located in the areas in which they work.


When to Contact a Social Worker

You may wish to speak with a social worker if you are a Queensway Carleton Hospital patient and are experiencing any of the following:

    • Concerns about your mental, emotional, or physical health.
    • Difficulty coping with your present diagnosis/illness.
    • Caregiver stress.
    • Isolation and loneliness.
    • Family conflict.
    • A recent loss (death, separation/divorce or other).
    • Emotional, physical, sexual, or financial abuse or neglect.
    • A traumatic life event.
    • Difficulty managing in your present living situation.
    • Hardship regarding housing or finances.
    • Substance use issues (alcohol and/or drugs).


Services we Provide

Social workers provide a range of services including:

    • Emotional support to individuals and families.
    • Caregiver support.
    • Crisis intervention and short-term counselling.
    • Individual, couples and group therapy.
    • Counselling related to grief, illness, and disability.
    • Information regarding housing and financial support services.
    • Information and referral to community resources.
    • Discharge planning - through our Home First approach to discharge planning, QCH works with community services to support patients to return home following an acute care stay. Social workers work with the health care team, patient, and care partner/family to determine a patient’s ability to return home safely. They may recommend alternative programs or community services to assist with the transition home and will help coordinate arrangement of services if needed.


Home First

The Hospital is here to meet your needs during times of acute illness or need for surgery. Your ongoing needs for care and recovery are best met at home. Working with community partners, our Home First approach to discharge planning is about making every effort to support patients to return home after their hospital stay.


From the day you arrive at the hospital and as you are getting better the Healthcare Team is working toward your safe return home. Together with you and your care partners, a plan will be made for your discharge from hospital to home when you no longer need the services of an acute care hospital.


For patients with complex needs, the social worker is the primary contact for discharge planning. The social worker will assist you in planning for your return home and arranging services and supports as required. If your Healthcare Team recommends different long-term living arrangements, you may still go home and wait for those arrangements to be put in place. Being at home is better for you because:

    • You can recover in your comfortable and familiar environment with the support of family and friends.
    • You may receive support from community agencies as needed.
    • You have more time to make plans for your future care if necessary.
    • You reduce the risk of losing strength from lack of mobility in hospital.
    • You are at reduced risk of contracting hospital acquired infections.
    • You can continue to regain strength through participating in your usual activities.
    • You are more likely to maintain or improve your ability to perform your daily activities.

If you have any questions about returning home, please speak with the social worker on your unit.


Confidentiality Policy

All patient/family information will be confidential as per hospital privacy and confidentiality policies, understanding that, in the provision of care, it may be shared with other involved health professionals. There are some limits to confidentiality related to people’s safety; your social worker can discuss these and any concerns about confidentiality with you.


How to Contact a Social Worker

Any member of your Healthcare Team may contact us on your behalf, or you may call the main social work office at 613-721-4700, ext. 3751.