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Social Work

As part of the  Garry Hurvitz Centre for Brain and Mental Health at SickKids, the Social Work Department provides a wide range of services for children, adolescents and families. Social work staff offer evidence-informed clinical assessment and psychosocial interventions that are an essential component of the overall plan of care for patients and their families.

All social workers at SickKids are graduates of Masters level social work programs from accredited universities and are registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. 

We only accept referrals from internal SickKids physicians and staff. If you would like a referral, please speak to a member of your SickKids health-care team.

Leadership Team:

Interim Director, Social Work: Gillian Liberman, MSW, RSW

Professional Practice Lead and Education Coordinator: David Brownstone, MSW, RSW

Operations Manager, Collaborative Professional Practice (Psychology and Social Work): Moein Habibi, OT Reg. (Ont.), M.H.Sc. (Health Admin), CHE

Who we are

SickKids social workers promote resilience, enhance coping and capacity, and provide expertise at the intersection of mental and physical health in children, youth and families receiving services at the hospital. 

SickKids social workers are leaders in providing evidence-informed clinical assessment, intervention and teaching and contribute to innovative research. Building strong therapeutic relationships and working from a strengths-based perspective, SickKids social workers are mental health professionals who work collaboratively with children, youth, families, health-care teams and the broader community to improve the lives of those facing health-care challenges.

Resource Navigation Service

The Social Work Department houses the Resource Navigation Service. The Resource Navigation Service provides support to SickKids patients and caregivers who require information and assistance in applying for resources to address their healthcare-related costs, as well as other specific needs. 

We provide assistance with form completion and the gathering of documents in order to apply for several different types of resources. Applications can be a long, hard and intimidating process for families; this service helps minimize this stress by supporting patients and families, allowing them to focus on planning with their care teams and their own well-being. 

Visit Resource Navigation


Research and program evaluation in the Department of Social Work are focused on the psychosocial experiences of health and illness for children and families. The function of social work research is to advance evidence-based knowledge to benefit patients, families, healthcare professionals, the hospital, and the profession as well as to advance the development of knowledge and theory to help inform policy, clinical practice, and education in social work. Our social workers are involved in a variety of programs in the SickKids Research Institute.

Education and training

The Department of Social Work provides an education program for graduate students in social work (MSW) that focuses on teaching professional knowledge and skills related to the psychosocial experiences of health, illness, and hospitalization for individuals and families.

The Department of Social Work accepts Masters of Social Work (MSW) students only. Student placements are available in direct and indirect practice as well as research.

In order to secure an MSW placement at SickKids, please speak with the practicum coordinator at your university. All requests for field placements must be initiated by the field education department of the respective university. Direct requests will not be processed.

Hear from a graduate student-supervisor duo, MSW student Sierra Keary and social worker Gillian Liberman on why mentoring matters within the field of social work.

Education Coordinator: David Brownstone, MSW, RSW, Professional Practice Lead

Contact Education Coordinator

Academic affiliation

The Department of Social Work is affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Visit U of T

Learn about mental health

To learn more about mental health and a variety of other topics visit the AboutKidsHealth Mental Health Learning Hub.

Visit AboutKidsHealth

Contact us

Phone: 416-813-6805

Fax: 416-813-6746

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