As a social worker who specializes in health care management & disability-related issues, I can help a client address a number of needs. My "typical" client is one who has multiple health concerns... perhaps a chronic condition, maybe one that has come on suddenly, or worsened. Often that client is overwhelmed and is looking for help on managing their relationships with health care professionals, managing their health priorities and records, building their database of resources, applying for services, accessing funding, maybe even communicating new needs with their present employer. I can assist the client in organizing and gaining back some control in their lives, and finding their voice in their health care management. Perhaps that individual has had a good handle on their health management, but would like a back-up support to brainstorm with.
As a former teacher, social worker and a parent to a child who has a disability, I have a particular interest in working with parents who have children with a disability, and a multitude of experience navigating the pediatric world of health.
Whatever your situation, together, we would address your individual needs and make a plan for what would best benefit you.
Your private health insurance may cover services offered by a registered social worker (often found under your psychology/counselling services portion of your plan).
If you live in the Sussex-Saint John, NB area, I will come to you for our session. For those outside this area, please contact me to discuss a video/phone alternative.
What is "Advocacy"?
My personal definition of advocacy is working with (or for) individuals or groups who need support representing themselves and demonstrate their needs to their full capacity. It is non-adversarial. It serves to help empower those who need help (without disempowering others). Often those who would benefit from an advocate are those who don't know how to navigate complicated systems (health, education, legal or other), or who don't know how to best organize and describe their needs. They often need help collaborating with those working within the systems, and maybe lack the skills to do so. And usually, these instances can be frustrating and emotional for us, so having someone help you work collaboratively with others is a benefit for all parties involved.
What happens when someone doesn't have the energy or the knowledge to effectively represent themselves, for instance in a health-care situation? The patient's true needs are often overlooked...maybe the seriousness of their condition is not recognized, as well as the impact on their health & quality of life. Not being able to access other specialists, funding or programs can then gravely impact one's quality of life. The goal of an advocate in a patient/health care context would be to improve communication between patient and health care providers, and thus see an improvement in one's health care management.
I am an independent Registered Social Worker (NB), who has a knack for finding resources & supports within the community, & making connections. I have seen, time and time again, people who face more hardship than they need to because they don't have the knowledge, resources, or skills to navigate "the system" or make appropriate connections that can better their lives. My goal is to help people overcome these barriers.
INDIVIDUAL ADVOCACY SERVICES
Advocacy services are typically for someone who has a need who isn’t able to clearly voice that need for themselves. Let's face it... sometimes these tasks are pretty overwhelming alone. As your advocate, I work with you (and necessary supports) to have those needs recognized and try to reach a reasonable goal.
Examples of when advocacy services could help:
-someone needs help filling out paperwork and filing it appropriately
-a patient is having difficulty conveying a medical issue to a general doctor and can not get a specialist referral
-you are trying to find and secure funding for your loved one's disability-related need
-you need help accessing community services based on your situation (a disability, etc.)
-you feel you need to work with your employer to ask for a modification to your duties due to a health need
-you are denied access to a program or funding which you feel you should have been able to access
-you are denied disability benefits and need assistance building your case for a review
As a private Social Worker, I work independent of the government, while respecting government policies that are in place, helping clients work within these systems. I believe in a collaborative, positive approach, building working relationships.
CONSULTING & ASSESSMENTS
I am available for contract work for small businesses & non-profit organizations.
Needs & program assessments are helpful because...
-understanding your users' needs is smart for focusing your business efforts, and can result in maximizing the customer satisfaction experience (and profits).
-non-profit organizations can benefit from targeted research when applying for funding. *I also have substantial experience with funding requests/proposals.
-in order to gather the most unbiased information, outsourcing assessments to a neutral third party makes the best business sense.
Please contact me to discuss your program needs. (Also serving clients outside the Southern New Brunswick area).
Also available by contract for non-profit & small business: running support programs, health wellness classes, offering educational seminars, presenting at health conferences.
I'm very involved in community initiatives, volunteering much time towards various causes. One of my passions is influencing disability initiatives, particularly that of increased accessibility and awareness. If I can write a letter asking for better accessibility, I'm on it!
Wishmaker & Committee Member, July 2015-present
Workers 4 Wishes (W4W) – Saint John, New Brunswick
Giving a W4W wish presentation at Imperial Theatre
Key speaker at NBACL’s Respite Forum (October 2015)
Saint John, New Brunswick
Open forum for health care professionals. Was asked to provide a family (personal) perspective on respite care challenges and barriers in the region. Purpose of forum was to discuss strategies and collaborate to find solutions to support families going forward.
IWK Foundation Ambassador Family/Advocate
Highlighted in their “With You” campaign and report to donors. This involved video & various print media, as well as public appearances. (2009). Key speaker at IWK events, as well as appearances at IWK Telethon & Radiothon.
Specializing in health care management and disability advocacy
Offering a mobile service
(we come to you)
With You Advocacy Services