A Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) is trained to help individuals deal with a variety of mental health and daily living problems to improve overall functioning. A social worker usually has a Master's Degree in social work and has studied sociology, growth and development, mental health theory and practice, human behavior/social environment, psychology, and research methods.
An oncology social worker is knowledgable about cancer and about the psychosocial and other effects of disease, treatment, and survivorship. Often, social workers serve as patient navigators. Social workers can help you by:
- Determining your (and your family’s) strengths and needs relative to coping effectively with cancer diagnosis, treatment and follow-up cares
- Developing a multidisciplinary care plan according to your needs and goals
- Providing therapeutic interventions, including supportive counseling, group work, and education at each phase of the illness
- Planing your pre-admission, transfer, and discharge
- Providing case management services
- Helping you and your family with financial, transportation, lodging and other needs
- Advocating to remove barriers to quality care, to address gaps in service, to help you secure the protection of existing laws, and to work for any changes needed to policies, programs and legislation
- Conducting and publishing research to advance knowledge about the impact of cancer, refine interventions, and evaluate practice outcomes
To find a social worker near you, call the American Psychosocial Oncology Society toll-free helpline at 1-866-276-7443 to obtain a referral for local counseling services throughout the United States. The American Psychosocial Oncology Society can connect you or your caregivers to psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, and counselors skilled in the management of cancer-related distress.
If you have a specific fertility-related question or would like a referal for a fertility preservation consultation, call the Oncofertility Consortium® FERTline at 312-503-FERT or 866-708-FERT.