Social Work Practice with Older Adults
This field unit provides field placements in a variety of agency, community, health care and institutional settings that primarily serve older adults. All of the field placements deal with issues of aging, community, mental health, policy, and institutions. The primary purpose of the field placement is to provide an opportunity for guided practical experience in social work settings so that students may acquire the knowledge, values, and skills essential for professional gerontological social work practice. This field unit provides opportunities for integrating theoretical content and knowledge with the practice experience. The practice perspective of the aging and mental health unit is generalist practice, which includes a problem – focused generalist approach with a special emphasis on: 1) direct service to older adults and their families; and 2) resource development and coordination. The course will continually analyze material with an ecosystem approach, building an understanding of micro, meso, and macro systems.
Students have the opportunity to develop skills in working with the individual, with groups, and at multiple levels of the person – in – environment interface. For example, placements may provide experience for developing the following skills: engagement, assessment, intervention, counseling, termination, case management, crisis intervention, planning and program development, inter – professional collaboration, interdisciplinary teamwork, advocacy, mobilization of resources and group work. Students are placed in diverse settings, ranging the entire spectrum of services for the long – term care and support of older adults, from working in agencies whose primary focus is providing supportive services to help maintain older adults in their own homes, to more formal institutional settings such as nursing homes.
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