Department

Social Work

Date of Paper/Work

5-1-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Type of Paper/Work

Banded Dissertation

Advisors

Ande Nesmith

Abstract

This banded dissertation is comprised of three single, but interrelated scholarly products, and explores the inclusion of geriatric content in social work education over the years. System theory and the ecological perspective are the conceptual frameworks used throughout the dissertation. As each product is presented, implications for both social work education and research will be examined.

The first product of the banded dissertation is a historical analysis that identifies and examines the beginnings of geriatric social work education in the history of the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). Using archive material from the 1940’s and 1950’s, this scholarly work, demonstrates that it took many systems coming together from the federal government, practice, community, public welfare, and social work education to foster inclusion of geriatric content into social work curriculum. This analysis suggest that lessons from the past can help increase the number of geriatric social workers presently and provide direction to other disciplines that work with aging populations.

The second product of the banded dissertation presents a qualitative study that examines the attitudes, values, knowledge, skills, perceptions, comfort level and training with aging and geriatrics in the field by criminal justice faculty in a university in the Southern United States. Geriatric- based education is identified as paramount across all disciplines that work with older adults. Implications of this study highlight the need for both collaboration in practice and education between social work and criminal justice professionals to meet the needs of the growing aging population.

The third product of the banded dissertation summarizes an interactive presentation delivered on November 3, 2017 at the Aging and Society: Seventh Interdisciplinary Conference. This presentation highlighted the findings of the first product and the importance of using the historical lens to identify how inclusion of geriatric content increased the number of geriatric social workers in the past. This knowledge informs present social work education and practice to increase the number of geriatric social workers currently and provide direction to other disciplines’ efforts when working with older adults.

Through these three scholarly products, this banded dissertation illuminates numerous implications for both social work education and research. With the increase in the older adult population projected to double by 2060 to nearly 98 million, more geriatric social workers are needed. Implementing actions taken by the CSWE and external parties in the past to increase the number of social workers is one solution. Ensuring that geriatric -based education is infused in curriculum across disciplines provides another solution to increase the number of professionals trained and skilled to work with aging populations. Social Work as a profession cannot meet the needs of the growing older adult population alone, interdisciplinary collaboration is required to expand social work education and research.

Keywords

Geriatric social work education, interdisciplinary collaboration, geriatric-based education

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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