Clinical social workers work with both inpatients and outpatients and their families to:

  • Deal with crisis
  • Cope with illness and other life stressors
  • Identify and solve problems with relationships
  • Enhance communication with the medical treatment team to enable patients and families to be active partners in their own health care
  • Promote Family Centered Care, encouraging families’ active participation in their child’s care
  • Access hospital and community services


All social workers are licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and regulated by the Board of Registration in Social Work. Social workers must meet the educational, experience and practice standards articulated for their respective level of licensure.

Social Work Assessment

Clinical social workers assess patients with social, emotional, interpersonal and socioeconomic issues. Areas of assessment include:

  • Adjustment to illness and treatment
  • Ability to follow medical regimen
  • Family functioning and communication
  • Social and/or financial concerns
  • Personal safety including abuse, neglect, violence
  • Mental illness/emotional distress
  • Substance abuse
  • Adjustment to loss/bereavement
  • Cultural, religious, language needs
  • Occupation and/or school performance

Social Work Interventions

Interventions may be with patients, families, non-related caregivers, hospital or community personnel. These may include:

  • Counseling and support during a crisis, medical or otherwise
  • Care coordination (ex: Haven – Domestic Violence Program, Pediatric Palliative Care, Child Protection Team)
  • Brief therapy
  • Safety planning
  • Information and education
  • Referral to community agencies
  • Advocacy

Social workers are available to Mass General for Children inpatients and outpatients through walk-in services and scheduled appointments.  

Social workers are on site 8:30 am to 11:00 pm, seven days a week, including holidays. There is a social worker on-call for emergencies after hours.


Obstetric Social Workers are clinical social workers who provide ongoing counseling and emotional support to women and their families throughout the pregnancy and postpartum period. In addition, the social workers help to explore options, improve coping skills and provide resources. Our social workers address:

  • Adjustment to pregnancy
  • Transition to parenthood
  • Medical complications of pregnancy
  • Bereavement and loss
  • Child care issues
  • Work and school difficulties
  • Relationship problems
  • Stress
  • Abuse
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Mental health

A Tradition of Caring

At Mass General for Children, we know that the time of your child’s diagnosis and treatment is a very stressful one and we strive to provide an open, welcoming environment. We believe that no one knows a child as well as the parent does: parents, along with primary care providers, become our partners in a child's care and have an active voice in all treatment plans.