The Social Work Department is made up of social workers who work in a variety of settings throughout Nationwide Children’s. They work on inpatient units, in outpatient care areas, Emergency Departments and Urgent Cares, Behavioral Health and in the Primary Care network throughout central Ohio.
Our social workers are leaders in making sure our patients and families get the help they need, when they need it, from the best resources available. As members of the health care team at Nationwide Children's, our social workers promote wellness through prevention, care and recovery. They are skilled in identifying strengths and needs while also providing advocacy, emotional support and linkage to community resources.
- There are more than 125 social workers in the department with 24/7 coverage in the Emergency Department.
- Social workers are part of the medical homes in the Primary Care Network at over 10 locations in diverse communities across Franklin County.
- Social workers provide program coordination and leadership in several service lines including the Sickle Cell program, Hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, Disorders of Sexual Development, Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes, Cystic Fibrosis, Gastroenterology, Plastics & Craniofacial, Epilepsy, the Heart Center, Neonatology and more.
- Our medical social workers are leaders in the field. They contribute to the national discussion on the role of social work in health care through local and national conference presentations, publications and board appointments.
How do medical social workers help patients and families at Nationwide Children's?
- Support patients and families through acute stress and adjustment to illness and injury
- Support and promote resilience in patients and families with grief and loss
- Support and promote efficacy of patients and families
- Connect to and advocate for resources within the community
- Assist with safety planning and crisis intervention
- Connect patients to other families and support systems facilitated by social workers
Check out these stories from some of our social workers and their careers at Nationwide Children’s:
Ming, Social Worker, Endocrinology
“Poverty was definitely a big part of my mind when I was thinking about going into social work. Definitely equality. Breaking down barriers. I was influenced personally, too. I was born in Hong Kong and became a citizen after I moved to America when I was two years old. My parents were very sacrificial. They wanted an opportunity for my sister and I to have a better education. And actually they weren’t really planning to come to America. A family member whom had already immigrated guided them to give it a try. They did a test drive and thought, if the children can adjust, we’ll stay. Otherwise we’ll book it back to Hong Kong. We stayed.”
Bethanie, Social Worker, THRIVE Program
“I am the social worker and program coordinator for the THRIVE Program. We see patients who have a difference of sex development or the intersex population and we also see kiddos who have gender concerns. One of my biggest roles is eduction and support. It’s very sensitive and a lot of it’s not really common, or people are not very familiar with it. Watching families and patients grow and get over the initial stigma that they feel with these conditions and feeling like they can actually talk about what’s going on with their child - watching the fear that is initially there dissipate over time - that’s really nice to see. If you would have asked me a few years ago before I was in this program, I would have said that I thought I was pretty sensitive to being gender neutral and the way I address individuals as far as trying to be inclusive. But this position has definitely made me better and made me more aware. And it has made me more willing to step up to bat for my patients as an advocate.”
Jacy, Social Worker, Epilepsy Program
“I never expected to be a medical social worker. I wanted to be a teacher for a while, then I wanted to be a lawyer. I changed my mind because I feel like to be a lawyer, you have to be competitive and a little aggressive, and that’s not me. So I chose this and I’m happy with it. I help to support families who are managing a diagnosis of epilepsy. A child who is having seizures day in and day out - that’s not a life that most people expect for themselves. And a lot of people don’t know just how common epilepsy is. 1 in 26 people in their lifetime will have epilepsy and it looks different for everyone. Many people think that epilepsy is debilitating and that someone who has seizures can’t function the same way as someone who doesn’t. And that’s not true. We encourage our families to have their child continue doing the same things that any other child would be able to do. They have to take their medicine every day and take certain precautions, but they can be a normal kid.”