Social Workers Critical to Honoring Commitments to Residents and Families in Long-Term Care

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Abstract

Social workers have been at the forefront of research and advocacy to improve nursing home care for several decades. However, United States (U.S.) regulations have not kept pace with professional standards, as nursing home social services workers are still not required to have a degree in social work and many are assigned caseloads that are untenable for providing quality psychosocial and behavioral health care. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM)’s recently published interdisciplinary consensus report, The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality: Honoring our Commitment to Residents, Families, and Staff (NASEM, 2022) makes recommendations for changing these regulations, reflecting years of social work scholarship and policy advocacy. In this commentary, we highlight the NASEM report recommendations for social work and chart a course for continuing scholarship and policy advocacy to improve resident outcomes.

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Kusmaul, N., Roberts, A. R., Hector, P., Galambos, C., Zimmerman, S., Bern-Klug, M., … Herman, C. (2023). Social Workers Critical to Honoring Commitments to Residents and Families in Long-Term Care. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 66(6), 811–821. https://doi.org/10.1080/01634372.2023.2181904

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