Social Work at ZwavelStream Clinic -
Occupational Therapy at ZwavelStream
January 23, 2018
Physiotherapy at ZwavelStream
January 23, 2018
Occupational Therapy at ZwavelStream
January 23, 2018
Physiotherapy at ZwavelStream
January 23, 2018

Social Work at ZwavelStream


By empowering individuals through counseling, protection, and support, a Social Worker impacts positive change in their lives.

Social work has a broad scope and because of this, a Social Worker is a professional trained in a wide range of fields – from protection services andpolicy planning, to counseling and crisis management. As a result, Social Workers bring vast knowledge and a wide range of expertise to their position, the most important of which is to establish meaningful relationships with people.

This ability is then used in conjunction with specialized skills to help patients overcome any emotional, mental, and psychosocial challenges they might face. Social Workers focus of providing patients with the skills they require to achieve a sense of wellbeing, both on a personal level and as part of the greater whole, as in the case of marriage, family groups, and the community.

For this reason, attention is also given to various aspects that might affect the patient, like family, friends, workplace, etc. In so doing, the Social Worker ensures a healthy environment that supports the patient’s path to wellbeing.

What does a Social Worker do?

A Social Worker provides protection, assistance, and support to patients on an individual basis as well as in a group setting. They also often work with communities, organizations, and corporations going through a crisis, some kind of change, or in cases where access to resources is lacking. In most instances, a Social Worker is called on to intervene and mediate a situation in order to bring about positive change.

They commonly work with youth, adults, as well as families, and are able to diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional concerns. Social Workers offer counseling, psychotherapy, as well as services in mediation to achieve social change, or in the case of the individual patient, personal wellbeing.

They help patients in identifying problem areas, considering possible solutions, and finding any resources that might assist in supporting them. Social work is a far-reaching field, and Social Workers are able to affect positive outcomes in various sectors, including schools, welfare agencies, hospitals, clinics, and prisons.

Social Workers also refer patients to specialists as required, arrange access to services that might help them, and always follow up to monitor the progress of the patient’s case.

Who are the Social Worker’s patients?

Because of the wide range of expertise a Social Worker possesses, they are able to work with a wide range of different people in a variety of settings.

The most common kinds of cases referred to Social Workers include the following:

  • Crisis | People going through a particularly difficult time in their lives, with added stress and pressure which may be related to things like work, family, or marriage.
  • Serious illness or disability | People who need assistance through illness, recovery, or possibly adjusting to a different way of living.
  • Substance abuse | People whose lives are being negatively affected by substance abuse.
  • Spousal or child abuse | People whose lives are being negatively affected by physical or emotional abuse.
  • Severe trauma | Victims of violent crime, or people involved in situations that have inflicted any kind of emotional, physical, or mental trauma.
  • Mental illness | People living with mental illness that may take various forms, like depression, anxiety, or eating disorders.

The path to rehabilitation and recovery is made up of emotional, psychological, and logistical components. For instance, in cases of substance abuse, Social Workers provide therapy that seeks to assist the patients in developing a healthier balance in their lives.

Rehabilitation is further assisted by providing access to required resources, and the Social Worker also works closely with friends and family of the patient in order to ensure a sound support system.

What treatments do they use?

Social Workers rely on a wide range of skills and tools to provide treatment to their patients. Counseling and psychotherapy, crisis intervention, and mediation are some of the ways in which a Social Worker might treat a patient.

Through counseling, patients are given the support and tools they require to regain control of their situation, and to move forward to being well again in a way that is empowered and balanced. Social Workers will assist patients in identifying areas of concern, considering possible solutions, and also allocating resources that may be helpful in their recovery process.

Lots of research goes into any one patient and their personal needs, which guides the Social Worker in developing a treatment plan that is best suited to them. It will always take into account the patient’s condition, but also their home and work/school environment, as well as background factors that might influence the situation.


The minimum requirement for an entry-level Social Worker is a Bachelor’s Degree – Bachelor of Social Work. Some agencies will accept undergraduates who have majored in Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, and other related fields. In order to gain access to tertiary education, a National Senior Certificate is needed, and this must meet the requirements set out in the degree course. For positions in the mental health and medical environment, a Master of Social is necessary.

An internship term will be needed as well, where classes will have to be attended, along with a predetermined amount of hours dedicated to field instruction. All practicing Social Workers must be registered with the South African Council for Social Service Professions.

How do they work together with the Clinic?

The Social Workers at ZwavelStream are an invaluable part of our team of mental health specialists. When it comes to our ethos of an integrated approach to healing, the Social Worker’s role is significant in the process of identifying and resolving psychosocial factors negatively impacting a patient’s wellbeing.

Our Social Workers offer basic counseling to patients, and are called upon when instances of crisis, trauma, abuse, etc. arise. These are situations when the utmost sensitivity and discretion is required and our Social Workers bring decades of experience to their positions in order to provide intervention and mediation processes of the highest standard.

Working closely with the Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and other medical professionals on our team, the Social Workers are able to lend their skills to assist in the patient’s recovery.


Leave a Reply