St. Louis Children’s Hospital social workers and chaplains combine professional expertise and personal caring to help children and families with the social, financial, psychological, spiritual and family problems associated with illness, hospitalization, and outpatient treatment. Our services include:

  • Crisis intervention and support -- Supportive counseling during hospitalization is directed toward helping children and families cope with the psychological and emotional impact of crisis and illness. Social workers also help children adapt to chronic illness and deal with:
    • Medical fears
    • Anxiety
    • Stress
    • Depression
    • Family conflict
    • Child behavior problems
    • Non-adherence
    • Bereavement
  • The chaplains administer to all faiths, serving the spiritual needs of patients and their families. Chaplaincy services include:
    • Sacramental services
    • Bereavement services 
    • Coordination of bereavement programs
    • Advance directives
    • Ethics consults
    • Organ tissue donations and requests 
  • Support groups-- Support groups give families with a sick child or families who are grieving an opportunity to share feelings, common experiences and practical knowledge. Hospital-sponsored support groups are lead by experienced social workers in coordination with parents and other health-care professionals. 
  • Referral to community resources -- When services are needed outside of the hospital, social workers use their extensive knowledge of community resources to link children and families with the appropriate community agency. Typically, referrals are made for problems relating to school, childcare, housing and financial aid. 
  • Discharge planning -- Social workers help children and families prepare for a smooth transition from the hospital to home. Social workers coordinate efforts with other hospital staff, community agencies and schools. 
  • Child protection program -- This program provides services to children and their families when there is suspicion of physical abuse, neglect or sexual abuse.


A member of the social work team is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. However, normal business hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Phone -- 314.454.6101, social work
Phone -- Contact the hospital operator at 314.454.6000 and page the on-call chaplain.
Phone -- 314.454.2879, child protection 
Fax -- 314.454.2473