Social work services

Clinical social workers are available throughout our hospital and outpatient clinics to help all patients and families manage stresses that may be due to an illness or life situation, including:

  • Emotional and psychological distress
  • Grief, loss, and bereavement
  • Difficult family or social situations
  • Medical crisis and adjustment to illness
  • Substance abuse assessment and referral
  • Family violence and abuse
  • Guardianship
  • Cultural concerns

Our services

Our social workers provide the following:

  • Psychosocial assessment
  • Crisis intervention
  • Information, education, and referral to available community resources
  • Individual, group, marital, and family counseling
  • Patient and family conferences
  • Discharge planning in the outpatient clinics
  • Self-help and support groups for patients and families
  • Patient and family advocacy

Frequently asked questions

Who are clinical social workers and what do they do?

Clinical social workers are licensed mental health professionals trained to help people find solutions to many of life's most difficult situations. Clinical social workers earn a master's degree in a two-year program, and then specialize in a particular area of practice. They may work in mental health, health care, employee assistance, or substance abuse, or have private therapy practices. The scope of their practice encompasses all points in the lifespan, from infancy to old age.

Why choose a clinical social worker?

Clinical Social Workers are trained in individual, couples, family, and group therapy as well as in policy and systems theory. Clinical social workers believe in drawing upon the strengths of the individual and are skilled at mobilizing family, friends, and community resources to help solve problems.

How can a clinical social worker help me at Duke?

At Duke University Hospital, Licensed Clinical Social Workers are members of the health care team who assist patients and families with the stresses associated with sudden and chronic illness and its impact on everyday life. Social workers are also available to the staff at Duke for consultation around difficult psychological, family, or social issues such as family violence, mental health problems, or substance abuse.

Professional social work resources At Duke

Internship Opportunities

The Department maintains a comprehensive social work internship program and provides placements for social work interns from the region and throughout the United States. Our students include undergraduate and graduate social work interns from CSWE accredited colleges and graduate schools.

Interns have the opportunity for hands-on work in a multidisciplinary setting under the guidance of experienced social work supervisors. Interns also participate in a weekly health/mental health colloquium series and a bi-weekly case conference. Interns are accepted for fall, spring, and/or summer semesters and are placed throughout the health system and medical center. For more information, call 919-681-6840.