- Social Work Services at Children's Hospital
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Social Work

The Social Work team at East Tennessee Children's Hospital provides the extra help some families need in the hospital or as they go home. They are here to listen to you and can give you advice and resources.

Clinical Social Work services

Children's Hospital social workers can help with:

  • Understanding your child's illness or injury
  • Intervention during crisis
  • Grief and loss support
  • Child safety and protection
  • Support for victims of domestic violence
  • Planning how to take care of your child's illness at home
  • Language interpretation
  • Finding community resources to help your family with basic needs

You and your family can come to Social Work on your own. You may also be referred to social work by anyone, including friends and neighbors outside of the hospital. If you want to talk to Social Work, ask your nurse or another Children's Hospital staff member. Social workers are on-site from 8 am to 6:30 pm Monday through Friday and 8 am to 4:30 pm Saturday and Sunday.

Interpretation Services

The Social Work department can help you with interpretation services. These services include language and hearing-impaired help. Because most of our non-English speaking patients and families speak Spanish, Children's Hospital has Spanish-speaking certified medical interpreters on hand from 1:30 pm Sunday to 10 pm Friday every week. If your family speaks another language, we have services to help translate and communicate. Interpretation services are provided free of charge to hospital patients and their families.

If you anticipate the need for interpretation services during your family's visit to Children's Hospital, please call the Social Work Department at (865) 541-8457.


At adult hospitals, social workers members usually work directly with the patient. At a children's hospital, the patient may not be able to understand what he and his family need. He cannot make decisions about his healthcare. Children's Hospital's social work team knows how to work with both your child and his family to determine needs and create a plan to help. Social workers only help with family issues that are directly related to the patient's care and treatment. This focused approach helps preserve your family's privacy.

Children's Hospital's social workers are clinically trained and licensed. They are assigned to each hospital unit or clinic. This helps limit the number of social workers talking with a child or family. Our staff can build relationships with patients and families over long periods of time.