AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work is one of 35 schools participating in a new national initiative to educate 1,000 social workers to specialize in the booming field of aging.
The school master’s degree program was awarded $75,000 to establish a practicum partnership program, which will include partnerships with service agencies and other institutions in the local community. The New York Academy of Medicine’s Social Work Leadership Institute created the eight-year aging initiative with support from the John A. Hartford Foundation.
“As the number of older adults is expected to triple in the coming decades, new workforce opportunities have emerged for social workers who specialize in aging,” said principal investigator Roberta Greene, who holds the Louis and Ann Wolens Centennial Chair in Gerontology in the School of Social Work.
The Social Work Leadership Institute hopes to establish the partnership field education model as the norm in training aging specialists in graduate schools of social work across the country.
Students, Greene said, will be placed in diverse service settings to gain experiences across a broad spectrum of older adult care, from the recently retired and still active to frailer adults who require round-the-clock attention.
Social work master’s degree students Erin Wells, Susan Rowe and Lauren Dreyer are the first recipients of the program awards and will begin their field practicum in aging settings in January 2007.