Everything changes after a cancer diagnosis. Things that used to be simple suddenly become complicated, confusing and exhausting. You have to learn a whole new vocabulary.
Our social workers are experts in helping families handle the day-to-day challenges that come with a child’s cancer diagnosis. They work in all the main children’s cancer hospitals. They work closely with doctors, nurses and other NHS professionals as an integral part of the team caring for children with cancer. CLIC Sargent Social Workers are different to other social workers. They’re there to help because of a child’s cancer, and to make sure families get the support they need throughout treatment.
Our social workers can help with:
- Helping a family come to terms with what’s happened
- Explaining what things mean in a way that’s easy to understand
- Helping families adjust to the new situation they find themselves in, and working out how it will affect day-to-day life
- Support with applying for benefits, grants and other financial support
- Talking to a child’s school and helping to arrange schoolwork during treatment
- Helping parents sort out time off work
- Support with arranging accommodation for families close to hospital
- Helping organise childcare for siblings
- Supporting brothers and sisters and other family members
- Connecting with organisations that can give additional support.
Can this help you?
A CLIC Sargent Social Worker will get in touch in the first couple of weeks after your child has been diagnosed. They’ll bring you one of our Big Bags, full of useful information and bits for hospital stays. If you want, you’ll see them regularly from then on. They’ll listen to you and help you deal with what many families refer to as the ‘new normal’.
They’ll apply for a CLIC Sargent Registration Grant on your behalf to help you with the immediate costs of cancer. They’ll also steer you through the benefit process for Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment and getting a blue badge, and help you sort out stuff like childcare and speaking to your employer and child’s school.
Your social worker will talk with you about how they can help you and record what you agree in a care plan. They’ll revisit the care plan with you on a regular basis as your family’s needs change throughout your child’s treatment.
You don’t have to have a social worker, but if you decide not to, then change your mind, you can ask to see one at any point during your child’s treatment.
While your child is on treatment your social worker will help you get through what’s happening, practically and emotionally.
They can help you organise things like accommodation, speaking with your child’s school so they stay connected, liaising with your employer, getting you help with travel costs and other financial assistance, and connecting you with local services to make your life that little bit easier.
They’ll be there when you want to talk about what’s going on, helping you and your family cope with changes in your life.
Reaching the end of treatment can bring mixed emotions. You’re probably delighted that your child is better, but worried about losing the support of doctors, nurses and key people at the hospital. You’re not sure how your child will cope back home, have financial concerns, and are terrified of relapse.
Your CLIC Sargent Social Worker understands these feelings and will help you cope with these changes. As your child comes towards the end of treatment, they’ll work with you to determine what support you’ll need – like introducing your child back into school. They’ll put you in touch with local services that can help with things like money and housing. They can also connect you with our parents’ Facebook group so you can speak with other parents in a similar position, and our participation team if you want to work with us to improve things for other families with a child with cancer.
And they’ll let you know what to do if you’re worried about your child’s health in the future. They’ll give you the support you and your family need to move forward.