Sunette van der Merwe
B.Soc. Sci. Social Work (1995)
Sunette started her career in 1996 in Atlantis, a community on Cape Town's West Coast with many social problems. In her time there, she worked for the South African National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (SANCA) and National Institute for Crime Prevention and Reintegration of Offenders (NICRO).
Thereafter, she spent 5 years working for the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons. In this time she visited many prisons across South Africa where she interviewed prisoners and reported on problems and conditions in prisons.
From 2005 to 2017, she worked for a church based organisation doing outreach programs and dealing with day to day social problems in the community. During this time, she became more involved with the assessment of elderly clients and assisting them in formulating care plans.
In 2017 she registered her own private practice and started out as a locum at several hospitals and psychiatric clinics including Tygervalley Clinic, M-Care Durbanville, Panorama Medi Clinic, Cape Gate Medi Clinic and Louis Leipoldt Medi Clinic. Since 2019 she has also been a locums at physical rehabilitation hospitals including Nurture Health Cape View, Nurture Health Newlands and Intercare.
Sunette's main focus is assisting patients in resolving issues that negatively impact on their recovery and sustained mental and physical health. This often also involves the inclusion of family members and other people who form part of the patient’s day to day life. Some patients also need to adapt to changes in their need of care and formulate long term care plans to suit their needs, and this is where her expertise comes in at Palm Tree Clinic.
What role does the social worker play in my management at Palm Tree Clinic?
Registered social workers provide support in resolving family and social problems in an aim to ensure that the home environment is conducive for healing and maintaining mental health.