social worker helps client after a motor vehicle accident

How a social worker may help after a car accident

If you have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident (MVA), you are likely to experience physical pain and complex emotional feelings. These types of challenges are typically known and are most common after an accident. 

However, you may be faced with other difficulties which are less commonly spoken about, and can create additional stress and barriers to your recovery. Examples of common barriers can include but are not limited to: loss of income due to time off work, difficulty navigating community, legal, and health care resources available after an accident, as well as accessing need for emergency services. 

A social worker is one of the first points of contact after an MVA — they will meet with you in an accepting and comforting environment to complete an assessment to ensure your basic needs are met. A social worker will also recommend and conduct treatment referrals tailored to your unique situation, and provide necessary treatment. 

We asked our wonderful Social Worker at RRC, Karissa Chaput, to weigh in and explain why social work is so important after a car accident.  

What is social work?

According to the Canadian Association of Social Workers, “Social work is a practice-based profession and academic discipline founded on theories of social work, social science, and humanities. Social work focuses on the person within their environment and recognizes the importance of family, community, culture, legal, social, spiritual, and economic influences that impact the well-being of individuals, families, groups, and communities.” 

Since social workers are non-regulated professionals, there are many different areas in which social work services may be utilized. Social workers are commonly known to work with individuals facing issues of mental health and addictions, child welfare and social services, hospital and school settings. However, they are able to provide services to individuals facing a wide variety of life challenges and require assistance advocating for themselves and their human rights. 

Social Work Education

A four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from an accredited University is mandatory to practice in Canada as a social worker. The practitioner must be registered with the OCSWSSW to call themselves a “social worker”. A master’s degree can be completed usually within 1-3 years in Canada, one year if the professional already has a Bachelors of Social Work, and two or three years if they have a degree in another discipline.

What does social work look like?

At RRC, our Social Workers are one of the first points of contact for clients who have been in an MVA. We assess the client’s needs, provide emotional support and meet them where they’re at in a safe and non-judgemental environment. We provide referrals, emergency support, customized treatment plans along with other important services by using a holistic approach that considers every area of the client’s life. Our holistic approach ensures we help the person in every facet of their life, so they can move forward on their recovery journey. 

What is the role of a Social Worker after a Motor Vehicle Accident?

Social workers help with:

  • Mental health challenges by providing emotional and psychosocial support. 
  • Physical injuries and chronic pain by finding the right professionals to help.
  • Finding additional resources for funding if needed.
  • Ensuring appropriate communication with the legal and medical team.
  • Explaining and communicating with the insurance on behalf of the client.

Is social work covered by my insurance?

OHIP does not cover social work, however, some personal health benefits may cover the service. Health benefits often cover the required treatments like occupational therapy, physical therapy, massage, and kinesiology, for which we provide referrals. 

Meeting a social worker after your motor vehicle accident is the one of the first steps to help you along thein injury recovery journey. We’ve helped many people find the right treatment for them so they can enjoy life once again and heal from their injuries. To contact us to set up a meeting, you can call us, email, or fill out the contact form. 

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