2009-11-26 / Letters

Need People Trained In Social Work Field

To The Editor:

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, by 2050 long-term care facilities will need 110,000 social workers. The aging of America will demand more employees in the area of gerontology. In addition, children now receiving care and nurturing from their parents will see a role change as they help care for their parents in latter years. Bachelor- and masterlevel social workers will be trained to provide optimal help to these families. Our society must be prepared to meet this need.

In preparation, a social worker’s training will include program development, implementation and evaluation. The skills acquired from this training will help in developing programming that is wanted and needed by the patients. Social workers will also be equipped to evaluate the effectiveness of programs already developed. Other areas of training include advocacy, case management, and support throughout transition, protection of the client’s self-determination, mediation and crisis intervention. Families need someone trained in these areas to eliminate the worry associated with elderly care.

Many long-term care facilities across our nation do not hire people who have graduated from an accredited school of social work. Many employees in these positions are only required to have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree. Yet, if we have physical needs, we look for an RN or LPN. When we need a physical therapist, we expect someone trained in that field.

To help ensure these families are provided the help they need, write your federal, state and local officials and ask them to support any law that will protect the needs of our families, particularly those who are aging. Express the importance of hiring only those whose training is in the social work field. Why should we expect anything less when we need a social worker?
Margaret Johnson
Mercersburg

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