Social Work Services

Social workers help patients and their families effectively cope with the logistical and emotional difficulties of cancer. Our compassionate and caring social workers have extensive experience in helping individuals navigate their cancer journey.  Below are a few of the services provided by our social workers. For additional support and educational programs visit our Patient Support Services page

Individual and Family Counseling

Counseling can help you live with the impact of cancer and treatment on daily life and future plans. Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey social workers have extensive expertise in cancer care and can provide brief counseling and make referrals for long-term needs, if necessary. Call 732-235-6792 for more information.

Information and Referral

The Social Work Department maintains a large list of resources in the community such as transportation services, financial assistance, and information hotlines. Pamphlets, articles, books and tapes on cancer, treatment and post-treatment are also available.

Stress Management

A variety of stressors often go along with living with cancer and receiving treatment. Education on the sources of stress and the impact to the patient and family is available. Training in the use of relaxation techniques and other strategies to aid coping are taught by the social work staff.


Throughout the cancer experience, many choices are presented to the patient and many decisions are made. The Social Work Department can assist in the process by clarifying the options and exploring the affect of each choice.

Advance Directives

An advance directive can provide you with the maximum choice and control over the care you receive. The document allows you to state your healthcare wishes in advance. For some, the forms are confusing or cause anxiety. A social worker can assist in the decision-making process.

Support and Education Groups

Support and education groups provide a forum to discuss cancer-related issues which may dominate daily life. Participants can get useful information about community services, share tips on coping skills and find new ways to deal with stress. Groups provide a supportive atmosphere to share feelings, questions and concerns with other cancer patients and their families.

In the course of providing your care, the health care team might identify specific areas of need and suggest you make use of the psychosocial oncology services. You may contact the Social Work Department directly at 732-235-6792.

The services provided by the Social Work Department are open to patients and their families free of charge. However, some referrals may have associated fees.


Oncology Social Work Services
Elizabeth Brady, MSW, LCSW, discusses the
services provided by oncology social workers
to patients and their families.

Social Work in Cancer Care
Elizabeth Brady, MSW, LCSW, discusses
what patients and their families should know
about a social worker's role in cancer care.

What to Know About Oncology Social Work
Rosemarie Slirzewski, LCSW, discusses
what patients and their families should
know about a social worker's role in cancer care.

Oncology Social Work
Rosemarie Slirzewski, LCSW, discusses the
most rewarding part about being an oncology social worker
at Rutgers Cancer Institute.

Oncology Social Work Qualifications & Expertise
Social Work Manager, Joan Hogan, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C,
discusses the specific training and expertise of the oncology-certified social work team.