Social Work services are an integral part of health care management and service delivery. Social Work provides services (advice, support and advocacy) to persons and groups with the aim of enhancing the interpersonal competence and social functioning of the persons involved. Social Work in health care is delivered by two groups of professionals –Psychiatric Social Workers and Medical Social Workers.
PSYCHIATRIC SOCIAL WORKER - Provides counseling and helps individuals and families cope with mental health issues while recommending the appropriate intervention and services. Psychiatric Social Workers conduct psycho-social assessments and carry out interventions to enhance the developmental, problem solving and coping capacities of persons requiring psychiatric support at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of the health care system. Psychiatric Social Workers help clients to understand problems that cause emotional distress and develop and implement methods to facilitate resolution of crises and other types of problems and as appropriate, connect clients to community resources that may offer practical assistance and support. Psychiatric Social Workers can be found in private practice, business settings, public and private agencies, hospitals, out-patient clinics, community mental health and wellness centers, substance abuse prevention and treatment centers, schools, as well as work places.
MEDICAL SOCIAL WORKER - Helps individuals to cope with social issues such as those arising out of the impact of illness, disability or death and how they relate to emotional and social functioning. Medical Social Workers study, evaluate and interpret the socio-economic, psychological, and biological and environment backgrounds of clients for use in the preparation of plans for their adjustment and rehabilitation, the facilitation of response to treatment and easing of financial burdens caused by illness. Medical Social Workers assist individuals, couples and families to cope with the psycho-social, economic, cultural and medical issues resulting from illness. Medical Social Workers can be found in hospitals, out-patient clinics, community health centers as well as work places.
- Works towards increasing the well-being of children, adolescents, their families and communities.
- Discusses the problems of clients.
- Gives advice to clients on personal decisions and rights.
- Provides legal protection for individuals being mistreated.
- Writes reports on cases encountered.
- Refers clients to various resources that can assist their situation.
- Contributes to the development and improvement of social policy.
- Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work supported by a supervised and assessed practicum amounting to three hundred and thirty six (336) hours in a Medical/Psychiatric Social Work setting.
- Registration with the Medical/Psychiatric Social Workers Board of Trinidad and Tobago
- Prerequisites include five (5) CXC passes including English and two (2) CAPE/A’level passes.
- Understanding and respect for cultural differences.
- Understanding of social issues and problems.
- Excellent communication and people skills.
- Problem-solving skills.
- Planning, organisational and negotiation skills.
- Counseling skills.
- Evaluation skills.
- Able to work well under stress.
- Strong ethical behaviour.