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Social Work Service

LATCH provides the funding for a dedicated team of three Social Workers who specialise in the issues facing the families of children receiving treatment for cancer and leukaemia.

Our Social Workers

The LATCH Social Work Team is there to provide practical, emotional and financial support in a confidential environment.

Although based within the Children’s Hospital for Wales, the LATCH Social Worker Team visit families at home across Wales. On average, the team will have 120 plus families to look after at any given time.

Though family and friends are often keen to help, the impartial advice of an experienced professional is often beneficial.

Financial Support through Grants

The LATCH Social Worker Team assist families in applying for a range of LATCH grants designed to ease the financial burden. LATCH grants cover a range of needs:

  • An initial financial support grant to cover the families’ immediate needs
  • Travel costs to cover trips to and from hospital
  • Subsistence grants to help with day to day living expenses
  • General household expenses to cover utility bills and the purchase of specialised equipment for the home
  • Childcare costs to help look after brother and sisters whilst the parents are in hospital
  • Holiday Grants to give the families a well-deserved break

Information is also given on grants available from other organisations such as respite care.

The LATCH Social Workers are all amazing. Rachel is ours and I've got to say she is so wonderful. From the day we met her she's helped us in every way possible and gone above and beyond.

Sarah Roper

Thank you for all the support you have given our family - you are a wonderful charity. Helen has been supporting us for three years and we would like to thank Helen and Latch for everything they have done and are still doing for us.

Toni John

You have all been a fantastic support to us all, and are very close to our hearts. Without you all I would have struggled immensely. Katie has been absolutely amazing and has supported me through no end of things.

Sam Brand

Emotional Support for Parents

The LATCH Social Worker Team is experienced in helping parents to cope with the shock of diagnosis and the long-term turmoil of treatment. Emotions can range from anger, despair, guilt and helplessness.

They run various support groups for the parents as well as one to one sessions. They also organise treats and get-togethers for the parents as it’s widely reported that being with people in a similar situation often helps and just doing something different can act as a much needed tonic.

Emotional Support for Brothers and Sisters

The LATCH Social Worker Team also dedicate time to the brothers and sisters who often feel alienated when a sibling is taken ill, as family life is disrupted and daily routines are changed. They run a siblings support group and offer advice to parents on how to deal with any family problems that may arise. Trips are also arranged for siblings so that they aren’t feeling left out and have a chance to meet friends in similar situations.

Benefits Advice

The LATCH Social Worker Team can help guide parents through the complex benefits system, supporting families in claiming disability living allowance and other relevant benefits available to them and their children during what can often be a very difficult financial time.


The LATCH Social Worker Team can help families deal with other agencies and organisations that will often need to be contacted such as employers, mortgage lenders, grant making bodies and council departments such as education, housing, council tax and blue badge.

They also help liaise with the medical team on the Oncology Unit as often families can find the medical treatment plan complex, confusing and over-whelming.


The LATCH Social Worker Team can direct and refer families to other agencies and organisations for specialist help and advice as needed.