Social Work Unit

Established: 2010
Staff: 13 Social Workers
Capacity: 1 on-site counselling room; homecare visits
Treatments: ~300 emotional counselling sessions, child protection support for 52 children and provide financial support to 550 children and families per month
Most common session types: emotional support for acutely ill children and families, emotional support for chronically ill children and families, child protection support, support for sexually abused children, financial support for children and their families
Operating Costs:$106,127

The Social Work Unit has provided emotional counselling and support to 4,600 children, have worked with 904 “at risk” children in child protection cases, and in 2014 launched a Leaving Against Medical Advice (LAMA) intervention program.

Social Work in Cambodia

There are very few trained Cambodian social workers with practical experience. Social work is a growing field in Cambodia, with the first cohort of students graduating from Royal University of Phnom Penh in 2012. 

Treatment: Paving the way to Treating the Whole Child

The Social Work Department is the first of its kind in that it offers on-site care at a children’s hospital as well as outreach activities. Angkor Hospital for Children’s Social Work unit remit infiltrates every unit and aspect of Angkor Hospital for Children’s work with patients and their families. The team provide psychological support (play therapy; and emotional counselling and support), child protection interventions in cases of child abandonment and/or abuse, financial resource assistance; and social support network referrals.

Prevention: Family First

Angkor Hospital for Children firmly believes that where possible and if safe for the child, their families are the best place for the child to grow up. If this is not possible, AHC support familial settings as an alternative to institutional care. AHC Social Work unit work with families or caregivers who are at risk of abandoning their child in Angkor Hospital for Children or elsewhere; using patience and their counselling skills the team engage with families to find long-term solutions to their problems of maintaining the care of their child. 

The social work and medical staff team up to work with families who wish to remove their children from Angkor Hospital for Children against medical advice, which is referred to as a Leaving Against Medical Advice case (LAMA). This initiative was established in 2013 and in its first year had a 92% success rate of all LAMA cases.