Geriatric Enrichment Project

Older adults are the fastest growing population in our society. New Hampshire is no exception; the fastest growing age group is over 60.


Partnerships for Person-Centered and Participant-Directed Long-Term Services and Supports (Partnerships) Project (2013-2016)

Funded by the New York Community Trust in collaboration with the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS), the Gero-Ed Center at the Council on Social Work education (CSWE) is conducting the Partnerships Project, preparing BSW and MSW students with person-centered (PC) and participant-directed (PD) competencies and evaluating the outcomes of such education. The Social Work Program at PSU, building on its participation in the Geriatric Enrichment Project initiative (Gero-Rich) with CSWE in 2002-2004 (see below), is privileged to be one of eight schools/states chosen for this new partnership.

The Partnerships Project prepares BSW and MSW students with person-centered (PC) and participant-directed (PD) competencies and evaluates the outcomes of such education.  It targets the Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) and social work programs in the Administration for Community Living’s (ACL) eight Enhanced ADRC Options Counseling states (Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin).

This project builds upon the GeroRich Program’s and Gero-Ed Center’s successful utilization of the planned change model of curricular and organizational change, which garners key stakeholder support, conducts thorough curriculum assessments to determine courses targeted for infusion, and tests strategies to infuse and sustain new competencies and content in required courses. The project also utilizes the NRCPDS’s extensive PC/PD training resources and national collaborations with the Aging and Disability (A/D) Network. For additional information on the project and participating programs, see

The Social Work program at PSU has partnered with ServiceLink NH Grafton County (Littleton and Claremont offices) to prepare students through its curriculum for the opportunity to engage in a NH Service Link practicum with stipend support.

Geriatric Enrichment Project (2002-2004)

The Social Work Department at Plymouth State University was privileged to be a participant in a national project (2002-2004), funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), to support geriatric enrichment in the curriculum of accredited undergraduate and graduate social work programs. PSU was one of 24 accredited baccalaureate social work (B.S.W.) programs in the country that received funding for this initiative. For more information about the national project and related resources, please refer to the national Web site at The purpose of the project was to prepare Social Work students with cultural awareness, knowledge and skills to enhance the health and well-being of older adults and their families.

The Gerorich project at PSU had the opportunity to:

  • Conduct an assessment of its B.S.W. curriculum to identify age-related strengths and gaps in the content of the foundation courses and made changes to enrich the content
  • Participate in national faculty development institutes and regional meetings
  • Hold faculty retreats with members of the older adult and adult services community, B.S.W. advisory board, field supervisors and alumni to generate ideas for aging-related student learning activities for the infusion into the curriculum
  • Develop a student award for Social Work with Older People for practicum-based research on older adults and aging from a life span perspective
  • Hold a half-day workshop, Teaching Undergraduate Students about Ethical Issues in Aging, for field supervisors to discuss and encourage a life span approach to field education
  • Disseminate information and engage in resource-sharing through scholarly activities, including:

– Publication of “Crisis in Caregiving: A Call to Action” in Health & Social Work, 27,(4), 307-311 by Francine Conway-Giustra, Ann Crowley and Stephen Gorin in fall 2002

– Faculty presentation of “Enhancing Gerontology Content in the Classroom and Field for    Rural B.S.W. Programs” at the First National Gerontological Social Work Conference held in conjunction with the Council on Social Work Education conference in 2003

– Serving (Dr. Gorin) as a reviewer for a special issue on Diversity and Aging of the Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Today, the department grants a Social Work with Older People award on an annual basis, offers an interdisciplinary Gerontology Minor, and requires all students in the Social Work major to take its course on Perspectives in Aging.