For over two decades, GSWEC (the Southern California Geriatric Social Work Education Consortium) has been at the forefront of bridging geriatric social work, classroom education, and field training for students pursuing a Master’s degree. The first of its kind, GSWEC brings together eight schools of social work across SoCal along with 13 agencies. MPTF has been a core part of it along the way, and last month we were proud to have our own Director of Community Services, Jennifer Jorge, LCSW, appointed as the co-chair of GSWEC steering committee, the latest step in a journey going back to her first days as a geriatric social work intern.
MPTF’s role in the academic community may not be as widely known as our services, but we annually take in up to four Master’s level students. “I think this is an opportunity where MPTF gives back not only to social work,” Jennifer feels, “but really in training the next generation of geriatric social workers and rethinking their position on aging.” 13 GSWEC graduates in total have worked at MPTF, currently including five members of the social services department—plus many more lifelong relationships forged along the way. She notes there’s a demand for 70,000 social workers specializing in geriatric care because of the unprecedented numbers of people living longer, but less than 3% of graduates choose that path. That means keeping the next generations of social workers engaged and innovative, and we’re very proud to have Jennifer as part of this ongoing “labor of love.”