VETERINARY SOCIAL WORK
Veterinary social work is a specialization which focuses on attending to the human needs at the intersection of veterinary and social work practice. Utilizing a strengths perspective and evidence-based practices, it includes four key areas: compassion fatigue and conflict management, the link between human violence and animal abuse, animal-assisted interactions (therapy animals), and animal-related grief and loss. Veterinary social work is a growing field and social workers are being called upon to work in settings where animals and people are in relationship with one another and in need of supportive services (e.g., veterinary clinics, animal shelters, domestic violence facilities, schools, human health care agencies).
I have received post-graduate training in veterinary social work through the University of Tennessee School of Social Work and Veterinary Medicine. As a veterinary social worker, I provide on-site supportive services to Summit Veterinary Referral Center in Tacoma, WA.
My focus is supporting clients through grief and loss (anticipatory and bereavement), acting as a liaison between pet owners and the veterinary team, assisting pet owners with making difficult treatment decisions, providing consultations and support to doctors and their staff.
I offer the following Veterinary Social Work services:
For Clients -
- Pet loss support and counseling (caregiver support, anticipatory loss, grief and bereavement)
- Assisting pet owners with making and processing difficult treatment and care decisions
- Support during pet's palliative and hospice care
For Veterinary Staff and Animal Care Professionals:
- Compassion Fatigue prevention and management
- Support, debriefing, and crisis stabilization sessions for professional-personal areas.
- Grief support, psycho education, seminars on other relevant topics in veterinary medicine
For Masters-Level Social Work & Counseling Students -
- Internship and Practicum opportunities are available with me at Summit Veterinary Referral Center, for Masters-level students in the fields of social work and counseling. It is required that students be working closely with a university and have a school contact. Please contact me directly at Summit Veterinary Referral Center to inquire further and receive information on the requirements.
Please contact me directly for questions or more information on services offered.
Click here for my interview with University of Tennessee about my work at Summit Veterinary Referral Center: https://vetsocialwork.utk.edu/people/rachel-wright/
For more information on the field of veterinary social work please visit University of Tennessee's Veterinary Social Work program site (Colleges of Social Work and Veterinary Medicine): http://vetsocialwork.utk.edu/
The following is an article by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) about the growing field of veterinary social work: https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/160101a.aspx
My inspiration for becoming a veterinary social worker....my beloved Mia.