Social Work

When your child is diagnosed with a chronic or life threatening illness you may experience many different emotions. Some common feelings include fear, anger, anxiety, sadness, helplessness, and guilt. These feelings, as well as others, are perfectly normal and understandable.

To live successfully with a chronic, life threatening or life-altering medical condition, the patient and/or family needs good planning and a realistic self-assessment.

Pediatric clinical social workers help families adjust and adapt to living with a chronic or acute medical conditions. These social workers help families cope with the impact of the illness on all members of the family. A family centered, culturally sensitive approach is implemented in all interventions.


The staff consists of licensed clinical social workers and licensed social workers. Some of the services provided include:

  • Psychosocial family assessments to develop family strengths to cope with the impact of an illness on all family members
  • Individual and family counseling aimed at enhancing coping and adaptation
  • Outpatient parent support groups
  • Inpatient parent support groups
  • Referrals to community resources
  • Psycho-education about medical condition, treatment and related effects
  • Anticipatory grief counseling
  • Bereavement counseling


The Social Work Services section of the Department of Pediatrics is an integral part of every pediatric multidisciplinary team and offers specialized expertise in helping a child and their loved ones cope with and manage a chronic illness or new diagnosis.

Alissa K. Sandler, MSW, LCSW
Section Chief, SIDS Center of New Jersey
Social Worker Supervisor, Pediatric Specialty Services
201- 996-5131

Judith Solomon, MSW, LCSW, MPH
Social Work Supervisor
Tomorrows Children’s Institute


Adriana Acosta, MSW, LSW
Alicia Havens, MSW, LCSW
Greg Hedler, MSW, LSW
Norie Hubner, MSW, LCSW
Anna Irizarry-Wood, MSW, LSW
Lisa Marain, MSW, LCSW
Jackie Nemeth, MSW, LSW
Elizabeth Klein, MSW, LCSW
Annamaria Recanati, MSW, LCSW
Urmi Vaidya-Mathur, MSW, LCSW
Jane Watson, MSW, LCSW
Mary Zelteski, MSW, LCSW


Helpful Links

New Jersey Family Care –

New Jersey HELP -

New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services –

Legal Services New Jersey (LSNJ Law) -

Mental Health Association of New Jersey -

National Association of Social Workers (New Jersey) -

Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund -

close (X)