Social Work



The Social Work department oversees the social and psychosocial needs of our patients and their families. We give support to all programmes including the training centre. We use a interdisciplinary team approach and work closely with the all the teams keeping in touch with our patients and ensuring prompt assistance and resolution regardless of ethnic background and social standing. We use three methods of social intervention - case work, group work and community work.

Case work:

Includes facilitation of social grants, bereavement, counselling and mediation.

Group work:

We conduct the Memory Box Workshop with orphans and vulnerable children with a view of building resilience and facilitating grief and bereavement. We also do group work for carers and children with a view to education, adherence and encouraging early disclosure of HIV status in children.

Community work:

This involves individual group work at clinics with patients struggling with stigma, discrimination and illness, with a drive towards empowerment through projects of their choice i.e. sewing, cooking. Awareness talks with school children regarding the building of resilience, HIV and safe sex and the importance of HCT testing and early disclosure in teenage pregnancy.


With the re-opening of the Inpatient Unit we have been allocated a children's room which has been called the "Rainbow Room". This room has been specially adapted and decorated for our child patients. We have also adapted the Kath Defilippi Resource Centre into a child friendly space in which to conduct group work sessions. One of the highlights of these sessions has to be the raw innocent responses of the children. In a module on the importance of taking medication, they tell us how they throw their medication away without taking it. They even went on to say exactly how they felt in their bodies after not taking their medication after a couple of days. Bearing in mind, these children are unaware of their sickness and how important it is to take their medication twice daily. The aim of this group work is working toward the
disclosure by the parent or carer to the child of their status. It is humbling to be able to help these children and their families where we can. The response received from networking partners such as SASSA (SA Social Services Association) in the facilitation of grants or other problems and the hands on help from the Department of Social Development since they have decentralised from Pietermaritzburg to Port Shepstone is phenomenal. We thank them for this as we are all working in the best interests of the patients and their families.


Remain the limited resources and abject poverty in the community, which is a daily reminder of why we do what we do.


To be able source funding to help more children and families who are experiencing difficulties, through various methods, one being the memory box workshop.