Patient Support

Text Size A A

E-Mail to a Friend

secret  Click to Play Audio

Social Workers

Social WorkThe Social Work Department at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), is the place to go for counseling and education or when you need an advocate. The host of services provided by the Social Work Department will help you get the most out of your medical care by helping you with related social and emotional concerns.

Social workers are trained to help patients and their families adjust to illness, and to the ups and downs of treatment and role changes within the family or marriage. They can also help individuals and families function as best they can during difficult, stressful times. Social workers are conscious of and maintain respect for the dignity, self-esteem and cultural background of each patient and family.


Pre-arrival Consultations

If you are a new patient or prospective new patient, social workers will offer you an overview of the services and resources available to you and your family at SCCA. During this time, social workers will discuss social and emotional issues pertaining to illness and treatment, and make suggestions on finding housing, doing fundraising and tapping into available resources.

Advocacy and Referral Coordination

Social workers help patients and families access services within SCCA, as well as within the community. Social workers act as advocates and facilitators for patients, and work with medical teams as needed. Social workers assist patients and families with communication, including developing problem-solving strategies that will help patients and families navigate the medical system more effectively.


Social workers help educate patients and families about the psychosocial issues that surround medical care. As members of your healthcare team, social workers participate in patient-care planning, family conferences, and patient and family education programs.


Whether you are a patient or a family member, you can ask social workers for support in coping with grief and loss, role changes, family dynamics, the challenges of living with a serious, chronic illness, and related emotional needs. Crisis intervention is available for patients and families experiencing acute distress related to changes in their medical condition, death and dying, or other stressful life events. Social workers also are available for follow-up grief counseling for families who have lost a loved one, and for funeral and end-of-life planning.

Support Groups

Social workers co-facilitate various support groups for patients and families.

More Information

Social workers are available to all patients and families. For more information, about the Social Work Department, call (206) 288-1076, or e-mail

Social Work for Children and Teens

Social workers at Seattle Children's are trained to help families adjust to a cancer diagnosis and cope with their new situation and the demands of treatment in the best possible way.