Welcome to the newest Oncolink blog, Christina’s Resource Round-Up. I’m Christina Bach, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C. What are all those letters you ask? Well, they mean I have a Masters degree in social work, I’m a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Pennsylvania and I am a certified oncology social worker through the Association of Oncology Social Workers (AOSW). I spend many days finding and accessing various resources for patients and families who are coping with cancer. A key function of social workers in oncology is resource allocation and advocacy.
What are resources? Dictionary.com defines resources as, “a source of supply, source or aid, especially one that can be drawn upon readily as needed. The Social Work Dictionary (Barker, 2003, 5th Edition), further defines resources as:
…any existing services or commodities that can be called on to help take care of a need. A primary skill of social workers is their ability to know of and use the exiting community resources that can help their clients. Resources used by social worker typically include other social agencies, government programs, other professional or volunteer personnel, self help groups, natural helpers and individuals in the community who posses the qualities and motivations that can help the client (pp. 370).
Resources, and the ability to gain access to them, are key allies in the fight against cancer. Resources help patients, families, caregivers and professionals cope with the day to day challenges posed by a cancer diagnosis by providing support, education, financial assistance, transportation, respite, wigs, information and even evaluations of other social service agencies. In reality the possibilities that resources can provide are endless. It is finding them, accessing them and using them that can present a challenge. That is where this blog comes into play.
I hope to present resources regularly to patients, families, caregivers and professionals that are available on both the local (ie South Eastern PA, NJ and DE area where my frame of reference is located) and national level. I’ll provide information about the agency/resource, what is provided, and how to make a referral. I pride myself on having a fairly extensive knowledge of cancer resources, but I don’t know everything. If you have utilized a resource you would like me to highlight as part of this blog, please do not hesitate to post a comment.
The goal of this blog is to educate, inform, enlighten and broaden knowledge for the cancer patient and caregiving community. With that in mind, I’ll leave you until next time, when I’ll round up lots of information about the grand-daddy of all cancer service organizations, The American Cancer Society.