Frequently Asked Questions about the GSWEC Program
Why Work with Older Adults? As a society, we will be facing new challenges and opportunities in the coming years:
Employment opportunities. More social workers are needed. By 2020 when the baby boomers turn 65, up to 70,000 social workers will be needed to serve older people and their families.
The baby boomers are rapidly aging. In the next 40 years, people age 65 will account for a quarter of our nation's population.
Families will need help. Eighty percent of care for the elderly comes from family and friends rather than formal services.
More elderly will be at risk for disability and institutionalization. The fastest growing segment of our population is the "oldest-old," people 85 years and older.
Older people will be more diverse than previous generation. Latino, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Native American, and African American groups are growing at a faster rate compared to European American elderly.
What is the Geriatric Leadership Internship (GLI)?
The Geriatric Leadership Internship (GLI) offers a geriatric social work field training experience based on a biopsychosocial model and adult learning theory with a focus on diversity issues and leadership skills. Hence, GSWEC offers a collaborative, student directed, field training experience.
Through an innovative new field training model, the GLI aims to advance preparation of geriatric social workers in order to strengthen the quality of care to a burgeoning older population.
What does the internship offer?
Integrated academic and field education in geriatric social work
networking with other interns from four universities and leaders of premier aging organizations
Experience with the aging network and resources across the continuum of care
Competency-based training with certificate upon program completion
Employment listings and preferential status as a job applicant at Centers of Excellence
Sizable stipends awards
How does the internship work?
Up to eight students are selected from each of the four universities
Orientation to the full continuum is provided
Primary field placement customized to student geriatric practice interests
Secondary case-based experience with continuum of services
Group seminars and orientations with presentations by academic experts, field instructors, and students
What have graduates said about working with older adults?
"Your life will be enriched in countless ways."
"Working with the elderly is a breath of fresh air…"
"The relationship is a privilege…"
"Their families are involved…"
"Their hardiness has enriched me…"
"Their eyes light up: 'You didn’t forget me.'"
"Finding new life in the face of diversity."
What types of people are needed?
Caring people with a genuine interest in serving older adults and families
People with the capacity to master competencies needed to assess and intervene with adults and families in late life
People from diverse racial and ethnic groups to match the changing demographics of an aging California