Training Program for Geriatric Social Workers

Period of Performance: 08/01/2008 - 07/31/2009

$560K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NEW England Research Institutes, Inc.
Watertown, MA 02472
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Only 5 percent or less of social workers receive specialized training in gerontology in their educational programs. As a result, continuing education is the primary source of specialty training in geriatric care for BSW and MSW practitioners and the principal venue in which to develop required knowledge and practice skills to work with older adults. To address a need for evidence-based continuing education, NERI has partnered with the Institute for Geriatric Social Work (IGSW) at Boston University to develop and test a training program, the Working with Older Adults Program, for practicing social workers that maximizes the transfer of practice skills, employs proven techniques of professional education, and can be delivered conveniently and cost-efficiently in the workplace. The program takes an evidence-based, client-centered approach to working with older adults, will be readily incorporated into existing training, and accessible to schools of social work, community-based agencies, and individual practitioners. Consistent with evidence from educational research on how adults learn new skills, a major objective of the program will be to model appropriate assessment and communication skills through the use of professional-quality videotaped dramatic vignettes. The Aims of Phase I included: 1) development of a detailed content outline for the series of videos in the full program; 2) development of a script treatment for the prototype video and the content for the associated Trainer's Guide; 3) production of the prototype video and related sections of the Trainer's Guide; 4) assessment of the feasibility of the training program; 5) development of the Phase II production schedule; and 6) development of a commercialization plan. These Phase I Aims were achieved. Importantly, the Phase I evaluation established the feasibility of the program and the testing methodology. The Aims of Phase II are: 1) development of full content for the entire program (8 modules); 2) development of script treatments for eight videos and the associated content for the Trainer's Guide; 3) production of the videos and related sections of the Trainer's Guide; 4) evaluation of the program's effectiveness; and 5) dissemination of the CE program in collaboration with the Institute for Geriatric Social Work (IGSW) at Boston University. The program will be marketed as a CE product for social workers primarily through the Institute for Geriatric Social Work (IGSW) at Boston University PROJECT NARRATIVE: Despite the increasing population of older adults in this country, only 5 percent or less of social workers receive specialized training in gerontology in their educational programs. Therefore, continuing education is the primary source of specialty training in geriatric care for BSW and MSW practitioners. The Working with Older Adults Program will take an evidence-based, client-centered approach to working with older adults, presented through a series of videos that can be included in a small-group training format or for individual use.