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Social work with older people: a vision for the future

This report offers an academically informed, trustworthy, coherent, and accessible overview of social work with older people: what it is; why we need it; what its aims are; its skill and knowledge base; which populations and contexts it works effectively with and in; and the extent and nature of the evidence base relating to its effectiveness. The report also addresses a range of key issues that impact on, and intersect with, social work with older people and offers a way forward that engages social work with meeting the needs of the growing older population in England (and the wider UK) who need care and/or psychosocial support.

Examples of social work initiatives or services are offered in ‘boxes’ at relevant points in the report and ‘key opportunities’ for social work are highlighted at the end of each section or subsection.

The authors not only believe strongly that there is a future for social work with older people but also that it is a necessity for the health and social care economy, professionals and service providers, and most importantly for current and future generations of older people and their families. This report provides a vision – a ‘call to arms’ – to reinvigorate and re-establish gerontological social work and a rationale for investment in this specialist field before it is lost from the purview of British social work altogether. The views expressed in this report are those of the G8 and are not necessarily shared by The College of Social Work (TCSW).