Carien Van Huyssteen

Social Worker
Practice NR: 0670219 SACSSP 0670219
Phone: 083 754 9600

  1. Purpose of Social Work in a Rehabilitation Centre

    The primary role of the Rehabilitation Social Worker is to help patients and their families, understand an illness, come to terms with the emotions of a diagnosis and provide counselling on decision making.  Rehabilitation Social Workers are essential participants in the rehabilitation medical teams; collaborating with doctors, nurses, and related health professionals.  Social workers help the medical team members recognize the emotional aspects of a patient’s illness.

    • Assesses a patient’s social, emotional, environmental, financial, and support needs.
    • Informs other members of the health care team about these factors, which may affect the patient’s health and well-being.
    • Works with the patient’s family and other service provider agencies to develop a plan for care of the patient in his or her home or other living arrangement

    The Rehabilitation Social worker helps the patient with:

    • Acknowledgment of diagnosis and need for intervention.
    • Adaptation to changes in the patient’s role or relationships.
    • Modification in responsibilities and level of dependency.
    • Grief and adjustment to loss as a result of disability.
    • Dealing with altered self-image and expectations.
    • Adjustment to financial and social stressors related to disability.
    • Resource counselling for reintegration into employment and community; transportation; changes to home environment or choice of supervised care; funding of adaptive devices and other medical expenses.

    As a member of an in-patient or out-patient interdisciplinary team, the social worker facilitates the rehabilitation process to assist the patient in maximizing independence and autonomy in the various areas of his or her functioning.

    This process includes working with the:

    • patient,
    • his or her family,
    • rehabilitation team,
    • and with the community.

    Through assessment and interventions in the areas of psycho-social functioning and discharge planning, the social worker helps the client and the family move from a situation of uncertainty, anxiety, and dependency to one of increased confidence, hope, and autonomy