UAlbany School of Social Welfare to Address Needs of Growing Aging Population

School Awarded Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation Challenge Grant to Support Social Worker Training

Internships in Aging Project 2013 Master of Social Work graduates.

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 11, 2013) -- The University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare has received a $10,000 grant -- half of it in the form of a challenge grant – from the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation to continue its mission to train social workers to care for a burgeoning aging population. The grant from Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation will support the School of Social Welfare’s Internships in Aging Project (IAP) Alumni Endowed Scholarship, a program designed to address the shortage of trained social workers working with the aging. This endowed scholarship will advance the education and career aspirations of a UAlbany student working on a master’s degree in social welfare (MSW).

Social workers are on the front lines of providing care to the aging. By the year 2015, almost 20 percent of New York State residents will be 60 years or older. According to the National Institute of Aging, the U.S. will require 70,000 social workers who specialize in aging by 2020, a 43 percent increase from 1987.

In addition, there are 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease nationally, and by 2050, it is estimated that up to 16 million people will have the disease. The need for specialized health, mental health, and social services for people with dementia and their caregivers is increasing dramatically, challenging the service delivery system.

“This grant helps inspire and leverage new matching funds to further advance our treasured IAP Scholarship Program,” said School of Social Welfare Dean Katharine Briar-Lawson.

The scholarship recipient will be chosen based on high academic achievement in year one of the MSW graduate program and demonstrated leadership in gerontology. In the second or advanced year of the MSW program, the student will be required to participate with approximately 12-15 other selected students with stipends in the Internships in Aging Project.

“Our foundation recognizes the growing need for trained social work professionals to work with the aging. We hope that others in our community will also support the IAP program and this alumni scholarship,” said TSB Charitable Foundation Executive Director Leslie A. Cheu.

“The Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation is exceptionally generous. In addition to their grant, they provided funds for a matching challenge to encourage IAP alumni and supporters to contribute to the endowment. The result will be improved services to older persons in the Capital District,” said Anne E. Fortune, IAP director and associate dean of the UAlbany School of Social Welfare.

The Internships in Aging Project (IAP) at UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare (SSW) was developed in 1999 with initial funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation. It was one of six graduate schools selected by the Hartford Foundation to develop an innovative model of graduate education for preparing gerontological social workers. The innovative IAP program offers students an integrated, in-depth educational experience that provides a solid foundation of social work skills and a specialization in aging.

Founded in 1965, the School of Social Welfare is consistently ranked among the top schools of social work. With a strong emphasis on community engagement -- local, national, and international -- the School has a history of developing systems, enhancing community capacities, and pioneering best practices. The School receives more than $9 million a year in grants to fund special projects with national impact. Within recent years, the School has received $18.5 million for the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute as well as $3 million annually for the Center for Excellence in Aging and Community Wellness and the Center for Human Services Research.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciencesbusiness, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.