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UAlbany School of Social Welfare Grant Supports Student Scholarships, Aging Services in Schenectady County

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

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UAlbany social worker supporting older woman, smiling

The IAP internship program is designed to improve the quality of care for older populations while helping to develop a local workforce of well-trained caregivers.

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 3, 2010) -- The University at Albany School of Social Welfare (SSW) has received a $40,000 grant from the Schenectady Foundation to support student scholarships for its Internships in Aging Project (IAP).  This program is designed to improve the quality of care for Schenectady's older population while helping to develop a local workforce of well-trained caregivers.

The IAP Program selects high-caliber UAlbany students in the Master of Social Work degree program, who are entering their final year of social work training committed to improving services for the aging. The students will participate in direct social work practice with older clients and their families (such as assessing client needs, referring to services, and counseling) and may also be involved in research, policy development and implementation of projects related to older persons.

Schenectady County, like much of the country, is experiencing a substantial growth in the older adult population as baby boomers enter retirement and all generations live longer. U.S. Census Bureau 2008 projections for Schenectady County estimate that 15.5 percent of county residents are 65 years or older. This growth places demands on local resources and poses challenges for older adults seeking to remain in their homes. The Schenectady Foundation grants will provide opportunities for students to work with low- and middle-income seniors in Schenectady County, especially underserved persons from diverse backgrounds, with a focus on improving quality of life/health and maintaining the most independent level of living possible.

"We are pleased to partner with the Schenectady Foundation in addressing the needs of older persons and their families in Schenectady County," said School of Social Welfare Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson. "The Foundation's 'Strengthening Families' initiative is making a significant impact in the community and we look forward to working with them to expand our innovative Internships in Aging Project in the county. The scholarships this grant will provide will assist in recruiting and educating talented MSW-level social workers who will improve services to the county’s rapidly-increasing elderly population."

"We see this as a strategic investment for Schenectady County families," said Robert A. Carreau, executive director of the Schenectady Foundation.  "This program will deliver on three fronts:  improving the quality of care received by our elders, developing our local workforce of highly skilled caregivers, and providing opportunities for employment for those interested in pursuing social work as a career.  We are pleased to be engaged with UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare and its IAP program."

IAP was developed in 1999 as an innovative educational model program to enhance the training of MSW social workers specializing in providing services for older adults. It was developed with initial funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation.  UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare was one of six schools selected from across the nation for the initial Hartford grant.

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Christopher Onuorah, '12
UAlbany Student

University at Albany sophomore Christopher Onuorah abides by one personal rule: Be content but never complacent.

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