March is the National Social Work month; a month to recognize the important contributions Social Workers make in the lives of Canadians across the country and specifically patients, clients, residents, family members, and significant others in Health Care System.
Social workers are professionals dedicated to addressing the psychosocial needs of patients and families as part of the health-care team. Social Work uses the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) as the framework for their practice. SDOH includes such things as social supports, employment, housing, income, gender and culture.
I hope you will join me this month in recognizing the vital role that Social Workers play in our Health Care System and in thanking them for their hard work.
Throughout March we're featuring VCH Social Workers, highlighting their amazing work and contributions.
Our first social worker feature, Farimah, works as an Adult Protection Lead, for the North Shore areas from Deep Cove to Lions Bay and the Designated Responder Coordinator for the North Shore – Older Adult Mental Health Team. “I support Designated Responders in their investigations by offering education, consultation, and case reviews. I also assume the investigator role for referrals that are not already connected to a clinician/program within VCH," says Farimah.
After completing her Masters of Social (MSW), Farimah worked in a variety of areas, including Care Facility, Transitional Care Unit, Acute & Intensive Care, and Hospice Palliative Care. “I have always been very passionate about working with the geriatric population and creating a safe environment for them. Therefore, I found this position to be the right fit for me and a great opportunity to work in North Shore Community close to home," says Farimah.
From acute to community, Farimah is very familiar working on the North Shore. She even completed her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) practicum, and her first casual position at Lions Gate Hospital (LGH). Just recently, Farimah accepted a social worker position at LGH, and she is excited to continue her career where it began.
Farimah works collaboratively with social workers and clinicians from different disciplines. She is inspired by her team because everyone comes together, respects each other's role and appreciates the expertise and perspective each team member contributes to the client's care.
She admits that protecting vulnerable adults from harm, and responding to reports of abuse, neglect, and self-neglect is not an easy job, but she is thankful for all the support she receives. “I feel supported knowing I am not doing this work alone and have the support of VCH staff in different programs."
Although her role can be challenging at times, Farimah can't help but smile when she speaks about her clients. The majority of her referrals are older adults with dementia who experience various degrees of cognitive impairment. “Despite their level of cognitive decline, they remember me as 'the social work woman with a streak in her hair'" shares Farimah.