Social workSocial workSocial work

Clinics & services

Social work


Social work

We provide a range of social services, such as counselling support around hospitalisation, illness and disability.

About us

We have social workers at each of our hospital sites. 

Social workers play an important role in conjunction with other hospital staff to provide information and education to patients, their family or carers and community service providers regarding the effects of illness, treatments, hospitalisation and services.

Our services

We provide the following services:

  • Counselling support around hospitalisation, illness and disability
  • Comprehensive discharge planning
  • Risk assessment and therapeutic intervention
  • Family therapy and family case conferencing
  • Group work, advocacy and crisis intervention in the cases of acute illness, trauma, or significant distress
  • Manage the transition from hospital to community care, including into residential care and disability services


Social workers provide counselling and support for patients and their family or carers for issues associated with illness, adjustment, disability and hospital care.

Where necessary and appropriate, referrals for ongoing counselling can be made to community agencies.

Discharge planning

Social workers work closely with other hospital staff to plan and arrange any support which may be required during or after hospital treatment.

In some instances, your social worker may arrange information and planning or family meetings to provide information about treatment and service planning.

Social work assessment

Social workers are trained to undertake comprehensive assessments. This helps hospital staff understand individual patient’s support needs and concerns.

These assessments identify any personal, family or home related issues or concerns that can impact upon a patient's treatment or ability to return home.

Social workers also seek to identify patients who are at risk of not being able to return to their previous level of independence and usual lifestyle. We can help arrange any necessary support or alternative care arrangements.

Family meetings, information & planning meetings

Social workers coordinate and facilitate meetings which provide an opportunity for the patient, their family or carers to participate in the treatment and care planning process.

These meetings also provide an opportunity for questions about the diagnosis and treatment plan. The aim is to ensure quality of care and better patient outcomes, and a smooth transition to home and the community.

Community service information & access

Social workers provide up to date information and support about a wide variety of topics and services including housing and accommodation, legal and income support or financial services.

Where necessary, we make referrals to specialist community services to facilitate access to required services and entitlements.

We can assist rural and interstate patients or carers to access available temporary accommodation and transport entitlements.

Supported accommodation

Whenever possible, social workers assist and support patients to return home after their treatment in hospital.

Sometimes, patients cannot be discharged to their home given the level of ongoing support they need. In these cases, supported accommodation may be needed.

Social workers can assist patients and their families or carers to find appropriate supported accommodation such as residential aged care facilities and hostels.


You can only access this service when you are staying in hospital or have been referred to us by Austin Health staff.

Contact us

Social Work

Austin Hospital & Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital

Phone: 03 9496 5560 

Fax : 03 9496 5678

Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre

Phone: 03 9490 7660

Fax: 03 9490 7329


Debra Leahy
Manager, Social Work