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CSWE Gero-Ed Center Receives Retirement Research Foundation Funding to Implement Aging Network Workforce Competencies Project


For Immediate Release
Lydell Thomas
Manager, Marketing and Communications

Alexandria, VA, June 21, 2012 – The Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE’s) Gero-Ed Center, in partnership with the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS )and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), was awarded funding from The Retirement Research Foundation to implement the Aging Network Workforce Competencies (ANWC) Project. The Aging Network is a provider network of home and community based care for older persons and their family caregivers and encompasses more than 600 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). More than 64% of AAAs employ licensed social workers.

The project will run from July 1, 2012–December 31, 2013. The study will consist of focus groups of AAA leaders and members of the n4a Executive Committee; an electronic survey disseminated to AAA directors and staff in social work positions; and a report summarizing survey findings.

“The ANWC Project is a groundbreaking endeavor that assesses practice knowledge to better understand and advocate for the education and training needs of social workers in the Aging Network,” said Nancy Hooyman, co-principal investigator of the CSWE Gero-Ed Center and Hooyman professor of Gerontology at the University of Washington.

The project seeks to deepen the knowledge of competency efforts at the local level to better inform and coordinate with national competency endeavors across four domain areas—gerontology, cultural competence, person-centered care, and participant-direction. The ANWC Partnership shares the goal of an Aging Network workforce that is prepared with knowledge, skills, and values in these four essential domains to promote the dignity and independence of older adults to remain in their homes and communities.

“CSWE is extremely grateful to The Retirement Research Foundation for supporting this important research,” said Julia Watkins, executive director of CSWE. “The Gero-Ed Center has provided leadership in competency development and measurement in the social work education community for over a decade and looks forward to working with NRCPDS and n4a to gain an enhanced understanding of competencies in the Aging Network.”

The Retirement Research Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for our nation’s elders. Based in Chicago, it is one of the nation’s first private foundations devoted exclusively to aging and retirement issues. It awards grants each year in support of programs, research, advocacy and training to improve the quality of life for older Americans.


CSWE is a nonprofit national association representing more than 2,500 individual members as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education. Founded in 1952, this partnership of educational and professional institutions, social welfare agencies, and private citizens is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United States.