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The number of older people, particularly those over 85, is growing, and they need more assistance to remain active and independent. Well-trained, aging-savvy social workers serve as "navigators" and "expediters," empowering older adults and families to understand and choose among the bewildering array of available health and social services. They also provide counseling and direct services, facilitate family support, and coordinate care delivered through professional systems.

The Geriatric Social Work Initiative (GSWI) is collaborating with social work programs, organizations and other funders around the country to prepare needed, aging-savvy social workers and improve the care and well-being of older adults and their families.

We invite you to join us in this important work:
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Let's Celebrate Social Work Month!

The social work profession has existed in the United States since the 19th century, and social workers have worked as advocates for health and justice in families and communities in the United States and across the world. Social workers are leaders of change. As the population ages, the role of social workers   is critical.  This month, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) celebrates social work. Social Work Month is a time to celebrate and to recognize the need for social work leadership is now.

NASW Social Work Month 2014
Why Our World Needs Social Work
Positive Aging: The Role of Social Work from Cradle to Grave


What's New

*NEW* Ripples, the e-newsletter of the Geriatric Social Work Initiative: March edition, Let's Celebrate Social Work! Click here for our latest issue.

Hartford/VA Scholar Program Seeking Applicants
The National Center on Gerontological Social Work Excellence, through the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) offers a limited number of eligible PhD-level social workers from Veterans Health Administration the opportunity to participate in the Hartford/VA Scholars Program administered by GSA and funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation. This prestigious program provides mentorship and development for post-doctoral social workers pursuing advanced skills in research, administration, and/or policy careers involving issues of aging. VA Social Workers selected as Scholars must be able to devote time to research and other scholarly activity related to their training and research project. Hartford/VA Scholars will participate in an annual workshop to be held at The GSA Annual Scientific Meeting, will be appointed a national research mentor, and will engage in alumni network activities. The Scholars Program will provide financial support for reasonable travel expenses for Hartford/VA Scholar’s participation in the Program, in accordance with both organizations’ policies and legal requirements. To learn more check out the application guide, and FAQs page.

Three New Centers to Focus on Enhanced Geriatric Social Work Training
The Hartford/GSA National Center on Gerontological Social Work Excellence has named Hunter College, the University of Southern California, and the University of Washington as the newest locations of Hartford Centers of Excellence in Geriatric Social Work. Among these centers’ many activities, they will focus on building relationships with local health and social service professionals, and form regional consortia of social work field agencies serving older adults to support skill-building opportunities for personnel. To learn more read the full press release.

Other News

Become a Change AGEnt and Put Your Geriatrics Expertise to Work
The John A. Hartford Foundation announces a new Initiative for all alumni. As you may know, two years ago the Hartford Foundation engaged in a strategic planning process which has led to transition from their signature faculty development and other academic programs to a more downstream, practice-centered focus.  In order to make the change, the Foundation knows it is vital to build on their greatest asset: the incredibly passionate and expert people who have been part of Hartford-funded efforts over the past 20 years. Take a moment to read this latest HealthAGEnda Blog post authored by Rachael Watman, Hartford Foundation Officer. She explains more about this exciting new initiative and encourages you to become a Change AGEnt.

APA Resource to Assist Family Caregivers
The American Psychological Association’s (APA) web-based resource titled the Family Caregiver Briefcase for Psychologists can be used to assist family caregivers through individual and organizational practice, research, teaching, advocacy and community service. It is also useful for other professionals who work with family caregivers, psychologists facing caregiving challenges within their own families, and caregivers themselves. Briefcase components include:  Caregiving facts and figures, strategies for reaching family caregivers, caregiving interventions, assessment tools and much more. The Briefcase was developed by the members of the 2010 APA Presidential Task Force on Caregivers.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration: An Essential Element in Geriatric Social Work
Gerontology is, by its nature, an interdisciplinary science. Social workers in gerontology often work together with many other types of professionals including nurses, physicians, policymakers, and administrators. How are social workers important to interdisciplinary collaboration? See: GSWI's Own Interdisciplinary Collaboration Page & The Hartford Foundation Report on Interdisciplinary Geriatric Research.

health AGEnda - The John A. Hartford Foundation Blog
Keep up to date with the latest in the aging and the broader conversation around health, health care and health policy with the Hartford Foundation blog - health AGEnda.

The Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging
A publication by Dr. Barbara Berkman: The Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging. Click here to order a copy.

Action Briefs of the Hartford Geriatric Social Work Initiative are now available:


This website was last updated on March 21, 2014 .

The John A. Hartford Foundation

Sponsored by The John A. Hartford Foundation