This Social Work Month, Family Reach is honoring our dedicated team of social workers for the important role they play in the lives of both families fighting cancer and the healthcare professionals that stand by each family’s side. We partner with over 400 social workers across the country to understand each family’s unique needs as they navigate the financial side of a cancer diagnosis.
Often, families’ needs are immediate. Many hospital social workers express how challenging it can be to find fast, comprehensive financial support. They are strapped for time. Everyday, they face staffing and resource hurdles while their caseloads continue to grow.
“New families, new patients come in every single day, and the population just keeps growing,” says Claudia Begino, social worker at Children’s Hospital at Orange County. “Many of them have financial needs as a result of their cancer diagnosis. For a long time, I felt like I wasn’t equipped to help them.”
Immediate financial support
This is where our social workers come in. They collaborate with social workers like Claudia to provide custom financial assistance within 48 hours.
“Our support keeps families in their home, with the power and heat on, and ensures they maintain access to life-saving treatment,” says Jackie Lake, a Family Reach social worker.
The process is simple and allows oncology social workers to spend their valuable time addressing other critical areas of importance with patients and caregivers.
Cultivating a community
Through our hospital network, we’ve created a community of social workers who connect with each other to share their experiences and resources.
“I’ve met social workers from other cancer centers because they’re affiliated with Family Reach,” says Joe Chabot, Pediatric Resource Program Director at Dana Farber Children’s Hospital, Boston. “Connecting in this way helps with sharing best practices.”
This atmosphere of collaboration has allowed us to reach more social works and, ultimately, more families.
“The process is not overwhelming, for me or for the family,” says Begino. “When I speak to Family Reach’s social workers, I don’t have to explain myself. They understand my struggles. They understand the struggles of the hundreds of families I’m trying to serve every year.”