Mentoring the Next Generation of Social Workers in Palliative and End-of-Life Care: The Zelda Foster Studies Program

Daniel S. Gardner, Susan Gerbino, Jocelyn Warner Walls, Esther Chachkes, Meredith J. Doherty

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    As Americans live longer with chronic illnesses, there is a growing need for social workers with the knowledge and skills to deliver quality palliative care to older adults and their families. Nevertheless, there remains a critical shortage of social workers prepared to provide quality palliative and end-of-life care (PELC) and to maintain the field into the next generation. Formal mentorship programs represent an innovative approach to enhancing practice, providing support and guidance, and promoting social work leadership in the field. This article reviews the literature on mentorship as an approach to professional and leadership development for emerging social workers in PELC. The Zelda Foster Studies Program in Palliative and End-of-Life Care bolsters competencies and mentors social workers in PELC over the trajectory of their careers, and enhances the capacity in the field. Findings from the first six years of two components of the ZF Program are examined to illustrate the feasibility, benefits, and challenges of formal mentorship programs. The authors describe the background, structure, and evaluation of the initiative's mentorship programs, and discuss the implications of mentorship in PELC for social work education, practice, and research.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)107-131
    Number of pages25
    JournalJournal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care
    Volume11
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 3 2015

    Fingerprint

    Mentors
    Terminal Care
    study program
    mentoring
    social worker
    Social Work
    social work
    leadership
    Quality of Health Care
    Palliative Care
    chronic illness
    shortage
    Mentoring
    Social Workers
    Chronic Disease
    career
    Education
    evaluation
    Research
    education

    Keywords

    • mentoring
    • mentorship
    • palliative care
    • professional development
    • program evaluation
    • social work

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Life-span and Life-course Studies

    Cite this

    Mentoring the Next Generation of Social Workers in Palliative and End-of-Life Care : The Zelda Foster Studies Program. / Gardner, Daniel S.; Gerbino, Susan; Walls, Jocelyn Warner; Chachkes, Esther; Doherty, Meredith J.

    In: Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care, Vol. 11, No. 2, 03.04.2015, p. 107-131.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Gardner, Daniel S. ; Gerbino, Susan ; Walls, Jocelyn Warner ; Chachkes, Esther ; Doherty, Meredith J. / Mentoring the Next Generation of Social Workers in Palliative and End-of-Life Care : The Zelda Foster Studies Program. In: Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care. 2015 ; Vol. 11, No. 2. pp. 107-131.
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