Social Workers play a huge role in Public Health. Public Health Social Workers focus on prevention and identify children, adults, families, and communities with needs; and provide intervention services to help these clients discover ways of meeting their needs and preventing future problems.
One of the ways Public Health Social workers do this involves helping individuals and families make behavioral and situational life changes in order to improve their overall health and well-being.
Their focus extends to communities as well and a major part of that is addressing broad public health issues. Public Health Social Workers conduct the following direct client service activities:
Coordinate clients’ involvement with community agencies.
Refer clients and families who are dealing with emotional, physical and social issues.
Empower clients to assess their own needs and to advocate for themselves.
Enhance clients’ coping abilities.
Link clients to resources for optimal outcomes.
Provide understanding of client psychosocial and environmental factors for the multidisciplinary health care team.
At the Caldwell County Health Department we have two Public Health Social Workers, both located in the Women’s Health program. They also work specifically with “Pregnancy Care Management” which offers services to women enrolled in NC Medicaid. In addition, their roles include working to improve the health of mothers and babies during pregnancy and through two months post-partum. They also coordinate services for their clients such as WIC, Medicaid Transportation, OB Provider, DSS, and Community Agencies. These individuals make a difference in all lives that they touch and are a vital part of the Public Health Team.
For more information regarding Public Health Social Work, please contact (828) 426-8488.
*Reference: DHHS Public Health Social Work in North Carolina brochure