By Paul R. Pace, News staff
The population of Floridians over age 85 is expected to double by 2020, says Jim Akin, executive director of the NASW Florida Chapter.
“Services to older adults continues to be a challenge,” Akin said. “The number of people living here are getting older and people moving here are older.”
NASW, with funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation, has been hosting Supervisory Leaders in Aging (SLA) trainings in Florida and other states to improve the delivery of health care and social services to older adults.
The program achieves this goal by strengthening the supervisory, leadership, and gerontological skills of MSWs who supervise staff providing direct social services to older adults and their families.
The professional development program offers CE credits for supervisors who have been selected from the four NASW chapters currently participating in the program: New York City, Florida, Illinois and Maryland. The NASW New York City Chapter completed its first training in the fall of 2015, and the other three chapters held their first trainings this spring. (A photo and caption of the NYC graduates ran in the April NASW News.)
“Good supervision is so important to the practice of social work,” Akin said. “We were very thankful we had the opportunity to participate and we appreciate the (John A.) Hartford Foundation and their foresight to look at this area and invest their funds.”
Mary Gollings, social work supervisor at the Jesse Brown Veterans Administration Medical Center in Chicago, said she signed up for the SLA training because she wanted to learn best practices for coaching and supervising staff working with older adults.
“This course helped me understand how to teach my teams the importance of recognizing the aging process, how to shift goals of care with age and how to provide more holistic care by helping staff look at what aging means to each patient,” said Gollings, who supervises clinical social workers in primary care, specialty clinics, inpatient medicine and surgery, as well as rehab and subacute rehabilitation.
“This is the first course I have taken that is specifically aimed at improving my skills as a supervisor,” she said. “Each attendee came with expertise in the field of aging, but this course looked at how to use your expertise to help your staff grow and best serve their clients.”
From the July 2016 NASW News. NASW members can read the full story here.