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This mixed methodology study examines the perceptions of key constituents regarding methods for effectively integrating aging content into the foundation curriculum of the BSW and MSW program at the University of Georgia School of Social Work. Students were asked to complete a survey to determine their perception of geriatric content that existed within the foundation coursework. Following an analysis of the survey results, eight semi-structured focus group discussions were conducted with a purposeful sample of students, faculty, field instructors, social work alumni, older adults from the community, and representatives from aging agencies. The intention of these focus groups was to find out what aging content should be infused within the curriculum. The focus group meetings were held in various locations throughout Northeast Georgia and in one remote location in South Georgia. Participants were interviewed about the necessary skills and knowledge for social workers practicing with an aging population in the areas of: essential intervention skills, program policies and regulations, critical information needed to develop client service plans, strategies for addressing service delivery fragmentation, and community collaboration to support intergenerational family needs. The results of this study will be discussed to provide suggestions on how existing foundation courses can integrate aging content.


This article was originally published in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work. Copyright © 2006 Taylor & Francis.

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