Emotional Support – Professional:
CHOC employs social workers/counsellors and social auxiliary workers that offer psychosocial support at the paediatric oncology units from diagnosis to the end of treatment. . Through their skills and expertise of counselling and psychosocial support the social workers/counsellors alleviate pressure on the medical and nursing staff. They function “on the floor” and walk the path with the families from the time of diagnosis until the end of treatment – whether cure or end-of-life. This is mostly done in their own language and with an understanding of their social and cultural backgrounds. In instances where treatment is not successful bereavement support is provided.
The Gauteng South Region has two CHOC Social Workers and two Social Auxiliary Workers based at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) and the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH). The Eastern Cape Region has two CHOC Social Workers, one based at Frere Hospital in East London and another at PE Provincial Hospital in Port Elizabeth. The Free State and Namakwa Region has one CHOC Social Worker based at the Universitas Academic Hospital. Northern Region has a child and family support counsellor based at Unitas Hospital and Steve Biko Hospital. KwaZulu-Natal has one CHOC Social Worker based at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Academic Hospital and Netcare parklands Hospital.
Emotional Support - Non- professional:
To render comprehensive emotional support CHOC has various support groups such as Survivors, Parent- Supporting- Parent, Volunteers and Parents Tea, Bereavement Support and Child Interactive Play at the paediatric oncology units.
Emotional support continues to be the backbone of our regions existence. The regions host monthly Parent Supporting Parent groups for parents addressing their concerns in a light hearted environment that brings emotional relief to the families and serious enough to address crucial concerns faced by parents. Weekly tea and sandwiches are served regionally to parents and children at the wards and clinics.
The CHOC Interactive Play and Skills programme is an integral part of each patient’s development. The lengthy period of time that the children are out of school creates many challenges and due to this we focus on skills and activities to bridge the gap.