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Psychosocial Oncology Services
The diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer and blood disorders brings many emotional and practical challenges. You and your family don't have to face them alone.
Our Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology team, part of our Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, includes social workers, psychologists, school psychologists, resource specialists, and psychiatrists, all of whom have special expertise in the social, emotional, and psychological aspects of caring for children with cancer and blood disorders.
Our social workers and psychologists work in Dana-Farber's Jimmy Fund Clinic, where you and your family will receive outpatient care, and Boston Children's Hospital, where our pediatric cancer and blood disorder patients are hospitalized. Our staff works closely with the medical teams at both institutions, as well as with others involved in caring for your child and family.
As a member of your ongoing care team, a clinical social worker or psychologist will meet with your family to get to know you and discuss what psychosocial services may be useful. You may be asked to complete a routine confidential online psychosocial questionnaire to gather additional information. You may also meet with a resource specialist regarding eligibility for resource assistance programs. Psychiatrists are available for consultation if needed.
Your family’s needs may change over time, and our team will work with you to make sure that you get the individual support you need throughout treatment.
Our staff respects the privacy of your family and treats all communication with you as confidential.
In general, your written consent is required before information can be shared with anyone who is not part of your health care team. Only under certain very limited circumstances does the law require that confidential information be disclosed, including when someone is believed to be at serious risk of hurting himself/herself or another person, or when required during certain legal proceedings.
Our care team includes physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers who specialize in working with children with cancer. Our philosophy of care acknowledges that the whole family is affected by a cancer diagnosis, and for that reason, we provide care and support for each family member throughout the various stages of the family’s cancer journey.
Division of Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology
James Tulsky, MD, Chair, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care
William Pirl, MD, MPH, Vice Chair for Psychosocial Oncology
Patients and families with urgent needs after hours, on weekends, or on holidays should call Dana-Farber's 24-hour page operator at 617-632-3352. The on-call pediatric oncologist can contact a psychosocial provider as indicated.