NASW is pleased to announce the release of its new Standards for Social Work Practice with Family Caregivers of Older Adults. The NASW standards enhance social work practice with family caregivers and help the public understand how social workers support family caregivers.
Social workers understand that family caregivers play an important role in supporting older adults. They also understand that family caregivers do not always get the recognition they deserve or the support they need.
Social workers meet and help family caregivers in many places:
- Health care settings such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes
- Social service agencies for families and older adults
- Mental health settings
- Employee assistance and eldercare programs
- Agencies serving veterans and active military
- Housing programs and faith-based organizations
Professional social workers have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work and complete many hours of supervised fieldwork as part of their education. Social workers follow a Code of Ethics and know how to work well with people of all cultures. Many social workers have years of experience working with family caregivers of older adults. Social workers provide many important services to family caregivers:
- Educating caregivers about aging, health, and mental health
- Counseling to help families cope with the stresses of caregiving
- Coordinating care and services
- Linking caregivers with the resources they need
- Helping families plan for the future
- Leading support groups for family caregivers
- Working through conflicts and managing crises
- Advocating to help families reach their goals
- Communicating with other service providers and organizations
- Helping families find their way through transitions
Social workers help family caregivers take care of themselves.
- Click here to read the NASW Standards for Family Caregivers of Older Adults.
- Click here to find a social worker in your community with expertise in aging or other areas.
- Click here to learn more about caregiving and aging.
- Click here to find out how you can get involved in National Family Caregivers Month.
- Click here to learn about the Year of the Caregiver and the Administration on Aging.
Development of the NASW Standards for Social Work Practice with Family Caregivers of Older Adults is part of Professional Partners Supporting Family Caregivers, an initiative done in partnership with the AARP Foundation, the U.S. Administration on Aging, the Family Caregiver Alliance, and the National Association of Social Workers, and made possible by funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation