Social work outpatient service in CALHN

The Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) social workers are part of and work across most services to assist patients and their carer/families to adjust to and manage the impact of their diagnosed medical conditions and/or injury on their life.  Social workers are qualified health professionals that must be eligible for membership of the Australian Association of Social Workers. 

Social workers work as part of the multidisciplinary treating team for the best outcomes for patients through:

  • psychosocial assessment
  • linking to community services
  • crisis intervention
  • counselling and therapeutic interventions including trauma counselling, grief and loss counselling and psycho- education for patients and families
  • discharge planning, including family meetings and help with aged care processes
  • carer/family support
  • education and support groups
  • advocacy
  • responding to domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and elder abuse
  • assisting with socio-legal and ethical matters.

Social work allied health assistant’s work alongside social workers to provide practical information and support including:

  • Centrelink paperwork
  • organisation of housing
  • practical assistance
  • financial assistance
  • community referrals.

When to see a social worker

Some of the reasons people see hospital social workers are;

  • feelings of confusion and lack of control that arise from being in hospital or having treatment
  • feelings of fear, worry, sadness, anger and loss
  • personal and relationship difficulties
  • uncertainty about the future changes that illness or age can bring
  • to discuss the effects of hospitalisation or illness on their families
  • concern about how they will manage when they go home
  • to obtain information about legal and financial support options
  • to discuss moving into a residential aged care facility
  • to discuss life changes such as withdrawal of treatment and end of life care
  • to explore carer issues and carer stress.

Availability of social workers

Services are offered during business hours, Monday to Friday. Some services are 7 days at the RAH including Stroke, Emergency Department and Orthogeriatric clinics.

Useful links


Regional and rural patients

Assistance is available for regional and rural patients and families who are receiving care at the RAH, including transport assistance, accommodation and more.

GP information

Refer your patient

Fax referral to us

The social work service does not provide an outpatient clinic, social workers do however work with a shared care model within the multi-disciplinary team and accept internal, GP and other health professional referrals to their service.

All referrals are triaged by the service according to clinical urgency.  For urgent referrals please contact the Social Work Unit to discuss the case.

A referral letter from a medical practitioner is required for external referrals.

To make an external referral:  

RAH — (08) 7074 0000 (phone)
TQEH - (08) 8222 6000 (phone)

Patient information

How to access the social work unit

Tell someone from your treatment team or health professional that you want to see a social worker and give them some idea of the issues that you want to discuss.

For general information the above links provide a good insight into the services available within the community.

Please refer to the information sheets below for information regarding the outpatient service.