March 22, 2023

Northern Health celebrates World Social Work Day 2023

Yesterday, Tuesday 21 March, was World Social Work Day and Northern Health’s social workers have marked the day with an event highlighting this year’s theme, “Respecting Diversity through Joint Social Action”.

The afternoon event featured two presentations, each focusing on aspects of diversity. The first presentation showcased the support provided to our local community by the Disability Liaison program at Northern Health for people living with a disability, focusing on intersectionality and marginalised groups. The second presentation focused on family violence in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Northern Health Associate Director Allied Health, Penelope Vye says the event provided a great opportunity for all Northern Health social workers to gather together and celebrate the amazing work they do.

“Social workers are key in leading efforts in the family violence and disability areas. The number of social workers employed at Northern Health has increased dramatically in the past year – the onboarding of mental health has led to the employment of an additional 90 staff who provide services across a wide range of inpatient and community programs,” she said.

Northern Health social workers promote diversity by respecting and advocating for patients from culturally diverse backgrounds, the LGBTQIA+ community and those with disabilities. This is achieved through a number of different programs across Northern Health, including Strengthening Hospital’s Response to Family Violence (SHRFV), Hospital Without Walls, NDIS and many more.

In celebration of the amazing work that social workers do, and especially on this World Social Work day, here is what some of Northern Health staff had to say.

“Social workers provide valuable knowledge of supports, services and programs available for inpatients and beyond the hospital walls. They provide human connection for patients and their families during stressful times and advocate for the safety and wellbeing of patients and their loved ones,” Sara*, Registered Nurse.

“Social workers work with patients to help them through mental health, which is vital in our area. They also work with families that have experienced loss. Social workers assist with complex issues such as family violence, accommodation and other hardship as well,” Jessica*, Birth Suite staff member.

“Social workers maintain a dual focus on both assisting and improving human wellbeing, as well as identifying and addressing external issues. The Northern Health social workers are dedicated professionals, devoted to helping vulnerable people to get through their life issues,” Sam*, Nurse Unit Manager.

Northern Health social workers invited other health professionals to help celebrate World Social Work Day by respecting diversity and working together to eliminate any issues and barriers experienced by patients across various health care settings.

*Aliases have been used for privacy reasons

Pictured: Social work team