Commitment of Licensed Social Workers to Aging Practice

By Simons, Kelsey; Bonifas, Robin et al. | Health and Social Work, August 2011 | Go to article overview

Commitment of Licensed Social Workers to Aging Practice


Simons, Kelsey, Bonifas, Robin, Gammonley, Denise, Health and Social Work


There is a well-documented critical need for an expanded and adequately trained interdisciplinary geriatric workforce from medicine, nursing, social work, and allied health fields that can provide person-centered care to our rapidly aging population (John A. Hartford Foundation, 2009). Interdisciplinary teams of geriatric health care professionals, partnering with formal and informal caregivers, will be crucial to care for growing numbers of older adults (American Geriatrics Society, Geriatrics Interdisciplinary Advisory Group, 2006). As key members of the interdisciplinary team, gerontological social workers contribute expertise in social determinants of health and wellness and are engaged in biopsychosocial assessment and intervention to support the overall well-being of elders and their caregivers. As part of this process, social workers provide care management, care coordination, and counseling to individuals and groups. They also serve as liaisons among elders, their caregivers, and the broader health care system while providing advocacy on issues such as patient-centered care and end-of-life decision making (Mellor & Lindeman, 1998).

Population aging is increasing the demand for social workers with aging expertise. For example, because of the rising numbers of older adults, the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010) has projected a 16 percent increase in social work jobs overall and a 22 percent increase in jobs for social workers in medical and public health settings through 2018. Of particular note, social work positions in long-term care settings are expected to increase by more than 50 percent. Approximately 36,000 social workers were employed in long-term care in 2002, and 55,000 are projected to be needed in this sector by 2012 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, 2006). Although nearly three-fourths of licensed social workers report serving older adults, only 9 percent identify aging as their primary field of practice (Center for Health Workforce Studies, 2006; Whitaker, Weismiller, & Clark, 2005).

In response to these trends, intensive efforts to train and recruit social workers for gerontological practice have taken place in the United States over the last 10 years. The John A. Hartford Foundation has invested over $60 million to support the education and training of social workers committed to the field of aging. Their multifaceted approach to promoting a sufficiently large, well-trained workforce includes attention to BSW and MSW curriculum enhancement, field internship enrichment, and building of the research capacity of faculty scholars and doctoral students. Since the Hartford investments started in 1999, over 1,000 faculty members across the United States have been trained in gerontological social work through Hartford-funded curriculums and field education initiatives (Hooyman, 2006). As of this writing, 12 cohorts of faculty scholars have received support for their scholarship in aging with training in leadership, teaching, and research through the Hartford Faculty Scholars Program. A companion program for doctoral fellows has also provided research training, professional development, and dissertation support for 10 cohorts of PhD candidates in social work (John A. Hartford Foundation, 2009). Several hundred MSW students in more than 70 institutions have been trained in gerontology through the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education (HPPAE) (Volland, 2008).

Progress in encouragement of social work programs, faculty, and students to embrace training in aging is evident from the success of the Hartford initiatives, but these efforts are insufficient to fully meet the needs for a growing workforce (Institute of Medicine, 2008). Other forces, such as the impending retirements of large numbers of practicing social workers (National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care, 2007), suggest that closer attention to the retention of gerontological social workers currently in the workforce is critical.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Commitment of Licensed Social Workers to Aging Practice
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.