Supervisory Leaders in Aging

A Hartford/NASW Initiative

faces of elders and people working with them

NASW is excited to continue the Supervisory Leaders in Aging (SLA) program with generous funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation. Supervisory Leaders in Aging is designed to improve the delivery of health care and social services to older adults by strengthening the supervision of staff providing direct social services to older adults and their families. 

This innovative professional development program is being implemented as a continuing education (CE) offering providing 30 CE credits in the NASW New York City Chapter in fall 2016, and in the Florida, Illinois, and Maryland chapters in spring 2017.

Who is eligible for this program?

Applicants must be MSWs working either as supervisors or as managers providing supervision to staff members who provide direct social services to older adults and their families. Both experienced and novice supervisors are encouraged to seek advanced training through SLA. Applicants who are not currently providing supervision to direct practitioners are ineligible.

NASW membership is not required to participate in SLA. However, members may receive priority selection, discounted registration rates, or both.

What can MSW supervisors who enroll in Supervisory Leaders in Aging expect?

Social work supervisors can expect to:

  • gain gerontological knowledge and enhance their teaching skills to guide practice with older adults and their families
  • strengthen their leadership skills in supporting interdisciplinary teamwork
  • benefit from ongoing peer support and from practice, research, and policy updates made available through the growing network of Supervisory Leaders in Aging.

Will continuing education (CE) credits be awarded?

SLA participants will earn 30 NASW-approved CE credits upon completion of the program. Participants may be able to apply these CE credits to meet social work continuing education requirements in the state(s) in which they are licensed. 

How is the SLA program structured?

Supervisory Leaders in Aging provides five full days of training, scheduled biweekly over a 10-week period. Each training session will be a full day.

The workshop bolsters knowledge and skills for supervisors to function as:

  • teachers
  • leaders
  • experts on aging

Workshops are led by seasoned educators and leaders in gerontological social work and address these essential topics:

  • Advancing Skills in Individual and Group Supervision
  • Strengthening Leadership in Interdisciplinary Practice and Promoting Culturally Competent Gerontological Practice
  • Expanding Knowledge of Gerontological Mental Health and Heightening Awareness of Older Adult Self-Neglect and Mistreatment
  • Supervising Work with Families and Teaching Gerontological Assessment Skills
  • Measuring Outcomes of Practice and Translating Research Evidence into Practice

Participants will engage and network with peers during workshop sessions, thereby creating stronger connections with other leaders in their chapters. SLA graduates join a growing network of Supervisory Leaders in Aging from around the country.

Each training session will be a full day.

What is expected from practice settings in which the MSW Supervisory Leaders in Aging are employed?

Employers agree to provide time for Supervisory Leaders in Aging participants to attend five full-day workshops and to support graduates in their efforts to enhance supervision and staff training. Employers will also be asked to complete brief pre- and post-training questionnaires.

Where and when can social workers participate in SLA?

Applications are no longer being accepted for the spring 2017 SLA training in Florida, Illinois, and Maryland.

Information about future SLA trainings coming soon.

This program will train more social work supervisors who are specialized in caring for older adults, enhance social work leadership in the gerontological field, and expand knowledge on aging services so more social workers have the skills to improve the quality of life of this growing population.

- Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW, CEO, NASW and President, NASW Foundation
It was a great, invigorating experience, due not only to the training received but also to the opportunity for networking with other social workers in the field.

- Past participant

group of elders stretching

  Download the program brochure


Contact the following NASW chapters:

Florida Chapter
Jim Akin,

Illinois Chapter
Joel Rubin,

Maryland Chapter
Daphne McClellan,

New York City Chapter
Frances Brennan,

The Supervisory Leaders in Aging training program has been successfully implemented in New York City, Maryland, Florida, and Illinois. Congratulations to the NASW Chapter directors and staff members, the 49 faculty instructors, and the dedicated Advisory Committee members who made this possible. Thank you to everyone!