BPD Update Online, Spring 2004
The Institute for Geriatric Social Work Launches Small Grants Programs to Train Social Workers
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Scott Geron, Director and PI

For more information, click on this link to the IGSW web page:

With the rapid aging of our society, social work now faces one of the most important challenges of the 21st century. The Institute for Geriatric Social Work (IGSW), located at Boston University School of Social Work, is dedicated to advancing social work practice with older adults and their families. Established through a five-year grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies, IGSW is committed to improving the quality of gerontological social work practice and to helping practicing social workers effectively address the challenges of our diverse and growing aging population.

Training Incentive Program (TIP) and GeroRich Training Initiative

Two of IGSW's most important initiatives involve small grants programs that provide financial and technical support to social work education programs (BSW and MSW) and NASW state chapters to initiate training in aging or expand existing efforts. Both will be of interest to BSW programs. The Training Incentive Program (TIP) will award grants ranging from $300-$1,000 for innovative proposals to provide practicing social workers with the gerontological education and the tangible skills required to work effectively with older adults and their families. All NASW state chapters and BSW and MSW social work education programs that provide continuing professional education are eligible to apply for a TIP grant. Another program specifically targets GeroRich projects; GeroRich project directors will the opportunity to apply for training funds ranging from $1000-$3000 to expand upon the educational programs in aging that they have developed to include opportunities for training to practitioners. As part of both programs, IGSW will provide assistance in identifying quality local trainers, and free publicity for the event in IGSW publications.

These training initiatives, endorsed by SAGE-SW and the GeroRich program, provide a wonderful opportunity for BSW programs to become involved in efforts to prepare social work practitioners to meet the needs of our aging population. Overall, about 25-30 TIP grants will be awarded this year and 3-5 grants will be awarded to GeroRich programs. Up to 10 of the TIP grants will be competitively awarded to BSW programs, and at least one recipient of the GeroRich training initiative will be a BSW program. BSW programs that have received GeroRich grants may apply to both programs. Applications will be evaluated in part using the following criteria:

. Creativity and comprehensiveness of the proposed training design and format. For example, online training, mentoring, and experiential opportunities to ensure the transferability of gerontological knowledge and skills to practitioners

. Identification and implementation of gerontological competencies to be acquired by training participants

. Proposals that build upon existing and foster new community partnerships, and identify ways to ensure sustainability beyond this one-time funding

. Programs whose administrators demonstrate matching funds or substantial support for gerontological social work training

. While the projected number of practitioners to be trained is an important consideration, IGSW will also consider innovative training approaches that advance our understanding of how practice skills in aging can be taught in continuing education.

The TIP and GeroRich training programs were launched this spring, with applications for funding due May 1, 2004.

The article on the next page discusses the National Leadership Coalition and its contributions in aging...

Spiral, Horizontal Line Spinning

BPD Update Online, Volume 26, No. 2, Spring 2004

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