Social Work Department

Medical Social Work

There is a medical social work service available to patients and families attending the metabolic department on both an in-patient and out-patient basis.  We recognise the fact that a child’s diagnosis, illness and hospital attendance can be a stressful time for families, therefore we offer both practical and emotional supports to assist in minimising these difficulties.

Medical social workers work as part of the metabolic multi-disciplinary team.  Our primary focus is on the social and emotional impact of illness on the lives of our patients and their families.

Medical social workers accept referrals from the multi-disciplinary team, patients and their families and from outside agencies.  We are located in the out-patient department and can be contacted directly at Tel: 01 8784212 or through the metabolic team.

Metabolic Illness

We understand that a diagnosis of a metabolic condition impacts on the whole family system.  We offer support and counselling to families who have a new diagnosis of an illness or long term condition, or to those families who experience a crisis related to their child’s illness.

We are also aware of the impact a serious diagnosis may have on the siblings of the patient and they may have a number of concerns.  The medical social work department runs a ‘sibling camp’ the aim of which is to provide an opportunity for siblings to spend some time in the hospital, engage in positive self-esteem work and receive support from other children who have a sibling attending the hospital.

We assist families to make contact with local services and can also provide information on social welfare entitlements.

Child Welfare & Protection

From time to time families may have difficulties in caring for their children and meeting all their needs.  We offer counselling and support to these families.  We accept that they child’s welfare is paramount and work closely with parents, other colleagues and statutory authorities when these issues arise.


In the event of the death of a child, we offer a support and counseling service to families both at the time of the bereavement and on a follow-up basis.  The medical social work department also runs parent’s bereavement groups and bereavement groups for siblings.