Social Work Department

On this page:
·         Mission, Vision and Goals
·         Social Work Services
·         Employment Information
·         The mission of the Social Work Department is to provide comprehensive, quality social work services that enhance the psychosocial functioning of patients and their families.
·         The vision is to continuously strive for excellence in psychosocial assessment, treatment, discharge and aftercare planning to empower patients to maximize their overall functioning.
·         The goals are to provide counseling, education and services to patients and their families; to recognize and advocate for patients’ rights; and to collaborate with the treatment team to provide a comprehensive plan of care and a thorough aftercare plan..
The Social Work Department delivers professional services to patients, their families and significant others within the mission of the hospital and the ethics of the Profession. Social Work has historically supported persons in their environment, providing linkages to support systems that address the complex issues facing our patients.
Social workers actively participate in the admission process.  This also includes the admission interview, which comprises patient and family education regarding Advance Directives, patients’ rights, services of the hospital and legal proceedings.
Social Workers provide services to adolescents, adults and elderly inpatients with mental health diagnoses that meet criteria for admission to the hospital. Social workers are assigned to every unit of the hospital and provide services for patients to meet their individual psychosocial needs. An array of services is provided which includes psychosocial needs assessment; treatment planning in cooperation with the interdisciplinary treatment team, the patient and significant others; individual, family and group counseling; facilitation of services, such as socio-legal and forensic services; coordination of aftercare and discharge planning, assistance in obtaining entitlements, and education about negotiating the vast service delivery systems.
Social workers are an integral part of treatment teams, administrative meetings, committees, process teams and division meetings. Social work staff members regularly participate in a variety of performance improvement teams to address team, department and hospital-wide issues contributing to improved care and treatment of patients.
Qualifications and Procedures for Employment
Qualifications for employment of social workers require the individual to have a Masters of Social Work degree (M.S.W.), a valid license from the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners- and a valid driver's license.  For any position beyond the entry level, there are additional requirements based on experience and licensure.
To begin the process of applying for social work jobs in state psychiatric facilities (Mental Hygiene Administration), you must apply for a 'Social Worker I, Health Services' or Social Worker II, Health Services'' position.  Please go to the following website for directions:  ( and click on the on-line job application.
Professional social work supervision (approved the the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners) is provided by the Spring Grove Hospital Center Social Work Department in order to become eligible to take the L.C.S.W. or L.C.S.W.-C examination.  All new State of Maryland employees or those hired under a new classification, must pass a six-month probationary period and they are covered by health insurance and receive other State benefits from the date hired.
Social Work Employee Orientation and Competency Assessments
The Social Work Department provides training to all new social workers through an extensive orientation program to the services of the Department and Hospital. New employees are required to have a competency assessment at the beginning of their employment and at intervals of three and six months. Competency is then assessed annually for all staff. The purpose of these assessments is to determine the employees’ need for additional education and training to perform their job duties. If the position description requires competency in a specialty area an assessment is completed annually for these specialty areas.
Continuing Education Requirements
Social workers must meet the requirements of the Hospital and Social Work Department and the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners for continuing education and in-service training for professional growth. Social workers are required to obtain 40 CEU’s every two years, which have been approved by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners, in order to maintain their license. Spring Grove Hospital Center guidelines require that 20 of these CEU’s be completed each calendar year. Training which meets Board of Examiners requirements is provided annually by the Social Work Department. In-service training is provided when needed due to new initiatives and policies.
Credentialing and Privileging
Social Workers are credentialed and privileged through the Department, with approval by the Medical staff. Credentials and privileges are reviewed at least every two years.  Social workers must have approved specialized privileges in order to deliver specific services, which require special training, experience and expertise.
Additional Information
To obtain additional information you may call Robin Templeton, LCSW-C, Director of Social Work at 410-402-7449 or email at
The Social Work Department at Spring Grove Hospital has been providing field placements to students since 1950. Currently field instruction placements are provided for Social Work students from schools with which there is a contract with the Hospital’s Department of Learning Resources.
Role of Social Work Students
Social Work students begin their placements with a student orientation program, which includes presentations on such topics as Patient Rights, Infection Control, Fire and Safety, Medical Record Documentation, Prevention and Management of Aggressive Behavior, and Psychopharmacology. Students may work closely with the field instructor for a brief period and observe the work of the staff on the unit. After this introduction to staff responsibilities and patient care, students gradually assume a small caseload. As the placement progresses, with continuous supervision, students move toward greater independence. By the end of field placement, most students carry out all the duties of the staff Social Workers,  with supervision from their field instructors.  Social Workers at the hospital provide a full array of services to the patients. These services include initial psychosocial assessments, individual, group, and family interventions, and aftercare/discharge planning. Students are also part of the interdisciplinary team, attend staff meetings such as treatment planning meetings and department meetings.
Field Instruction Settings
Students may be placed throughout the Hospital depending on their interests. Upon arrangement, students may also observe other areas of the hospital, thus providing a wealth of experience.
Field Instructors
All field instructors have a Master of Social Work and are licensed atleast at the certified, clinical level (LCSW-C). They have participated in the required orientation and training of the schools and have been approved by the Social Work Department administration.
Educational Opportunities
Various educational opportunities are available to students at no charge. These include the monthly Social Work Seminar, Grand Rounds, and other hospital programs. Specific social work student meetings may also be scheduled according to student interest and need.
Application Information
Interested students should contact their school field instruction program representative. After the school refers students to the hospital Social Work Department, students call the Coordinator of Social Work Student Program to arrange an appointment for a pre-placement interview. This interview is an exchange of information between student and staff, and includes a brief tour of the unit.
Additional Student Information
To obtain additional information you may call Denise Leite-Finken, LCSW-C, Coordinator of Social Work Student Program, at (410) 402-7550 or email at
Together We Achieve the Extraordinary
Social Workers serve as vital members of interdisciplinary treatment teams. We continue to provide services from pre-admission screening to discharge planning. Social workers have historically viewed people in their environments.  We attempt to provide linkage with or to establish support systems to address the often complex issues facing our patients. The services provided may include individual, group and family therapy, education, substance abuse treatment, assistance obtaining medical, legal, and financial entitlements, negotiating the vast service delivery systems and aftercare planning. The aftercare plan represents the progress that a patient has made and provides outpatient resources to enhance and maintain stability toward an improved quality of life. As a department, we are active in maintaining professionalism, providing field instruction, meeting educational goals and reviewing and modifying our practices to enhance our services to patients.