Socialworkersspeaks on FacebookFollow Us on TwitterRSS Feed

UConn Social Work Students Reach Out to the Elderly, Minorities

Cheers to students at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work for a program that reaches out to senior citizens.

Students in the master’s program visit residents at seven Hartford-based senior residences, offering screenings for memory loss and depression, medicine management, and other mental health outreach services. The program is in its third year and contacted 950 people.

The initiative especially targets minority elderly who for cultural reasons may hesitate to seek help for depression and other issues. University officials claim it is the only such program in the nation.

“Some of the people are skeptical, they wonder what our hidden agenda is,” student Chris Parker said. “People prey on these folks. They’re a vulnerable population. But when they see that we deliver what we said we would, they’re initially surprised, and then they want us to come back.”

To read the full story on UConn Today click here.

To learn more about how social workers help the elderly visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Seniors & Aging section by clicking here.

Photo: University of Connecticut social work students visit residents at Mary Mahoney Village in Hartford. Photo courtesy of  UConn Today.

|   Leave A Comment
Tagged as: , , , , , , , ,



  1. As a UCONN graduate I was happy to read that the school of social work continues to strive to meet the needs of the surrounding communities. It is nice to see an innovative program that addresses the needs of often underserved populations. I was also impressed with the team concept of having experienced mental health clinicians mentoring and teaching mental health skills to developing social workers. Best wishes for continued success.

  2. I currently work in a mental health agency where I have been a BSW level social worker for 7 years. I am thinking of returning to school for a master’s degree in social work. To learn that there is an internship that focuses on minority populations makes me very excited. I considered applying to two other schools, one in Boston and one in New York. This article has increased my interest in UConn because I think it would be a good place for me. Thank you for this article.

  3. Kudos to UConn for seeing such a tremendous need in the community. This is what social work is really all about. I grew up in Hartford and it has truly changed over the years. There are huge disparities in health and social services across groups. I’m glad to see that social workers understand this and are doing something to make a difference in the communities.

  4. I am a graduate of the school of Social Work. I was a P.A.T.H. facilitator last year for a conference through the D.D.S. and D.D. Council event that brought interested stakeholders together to plan for services for those individuals who had mental retardation and were going to be elderly. Kathy Whitbread (St. Joseph’s College) and Donna Franchini (DDS ) coordinated it. Ed Preneta from DD Council would have more information if you are interested.

  5. Many thanks to those of you who read the article and posted comments. We (UCSSW faculty, staff, and students) appreciate your interest and hope that we can continue to inspire you and others to join in the efforts to increase access to service for underserved populations. Nancy and Ben, glad we make you proud. Maria, you are quite welcome! Laurie, thanks for sharing your experience as a P.A.T.H facilitator and DDS/DDC contacts. Kudos to each of you!

  6. I enjoyed reading about the UConn Geriatric Internship Program. Glad to know that the school of social work is taking action in the most impoverished inner city communities with older adults. That’s what real social work is all about.

  7. Great article!
    Glad to know such programs exist in Hartford where there are so many minorities who live below the poverty line.

  8. I’m thrilled to see that UConn is doing good things in area other than basketball. Sports keep us happy but know that our minority elders are being looked after makes us happier. Go Huskies!

  9. Thanks for this article. I heard Dr. Bullock speak at Bryn Mawr in the fall of 2009 about grandparents raising grandchildren. It seems that the outreach to minority elders is an extension of that work. Wish we could do something like this for the elderly in Philadelphia area.

  10. Great article! How can others get in on this type of outreach? I would like to replicate this type of outreach. Anyone have suggestions on how to get it going?

  11. This is a good find. Glad to know that social workers are still in the business of “doing” social work.
    The outreach is a wonderful thing. Thanks!

  12. This must be an awesome program. Is it still in existence?

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.