Clinical social work is a healthcare profession focused on helping people with bio-psychosocial problems and disorders. Clinical Social Workers should be emotional¬ly mature, objective, and sensitive to people and their problems.
Clinical Social Workers utilize a professional knowledge of the principles and practices of social work to counsel individuals, couples, families, and groups to help them make optimal use of health care, social, counseling, or psychological services.
Clinical social work, at all levels, is distinguished from other forms of social work by the nature of its graduate education and training and by its recognition, in every state of the United States, as a licensed mental-health/healthcare profession with unique competencies.
As members of a medical team in hospitals, field health stations, and clinics, clinical social workers provide psychotherapeutic services to patients and relatives in individual, couple, or group settings to assist them in adjusting to the physical/psychological difficulties associated with illness; counsel patients and relatives on the psychosocial ramifications of illness which may include grief counseling; evaluate and provide consultation to the medical team on the social factors relating to illness, hospitalization, diagnosis and recommended treatment of patients; develop and aid in the use of community resources; act as the primary interface between the patient, hospital, and community; participate in or consult on research/education programs; assume the role of patient advocate.