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Oncology social work

Social work services for people with cancer and their loved ones.

Oncology social work is the practice of supporting patients and families who are experiencing a cancer diagnosis. This includes the practical, emotional, social and financial challenges of cancer.

Oncology social workers help patients and families by listening to their concerns and assisting them in formulating a plan to address their needs.


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What it is

Oncology social workers work with you to create a personalized plan for you and your family. This plan could include:

  • connection to support groups, community events and organizations
  • help in understanding your diagnosis and adjusting to illness
  • information and referrals to grief and loss resources
  • support with financial and insurance concerns
  • completion of a health care directive
  • referrals to food, transportation, lodging and other community resources

Good to know

Licensed oncology social workers have a master's level education and are board-certified.

You may be referred by your care coordinator, doctor or any member of your care team. You can self-refer at any time if you need help connecting with any of the resources listed above.

What to expect

Your oncology social worker can meet with you and your family. During this meeting, we will listen to your concerns and help create a personalized plan to support you through your cancer care plan.

Social work consultations can include a one-time visit or several depending on your needs.

Related links

Source: Allina Health Cancer Care
Reviewed by: Allina Health Cancer Care

First published: 6/3/2019
Last reviewed: 6/3/2019