Field Agency, MSW Student, and Alumna/Field Instructor Honored by State Group

Avon Senior Center was selected as one of seven senior centers in Connecticut to receive a Program of Excellence Award by the Connecticut Association of Senior Center Personnel (CASCP) at their annual meeting on May 24, 2013 in Rocky Hill, CT.  The Center won the award in the Education category for their Taking Charge Program, a group that was formed to provide mutual support and build skills for self-advocacy.  The group was led by UConn MSW student Cathiann Velez and was formed at the request of older adults.

Cathiann Velez and Jennifer Bennett MSW '06
Cathiann Velez and Jennifer Bennett MSW ’06

The focus of the Taking Charge Program is to build participants’ confidence and help them to advocate for themselves at such places as doctor’s offices.  Field Instructor Jennifer Bennett MSW ‘06 said that the program came about after listening to seniors.  “We heard our members talking a lot and asking questions and we wanted to do something that would give them a voice outside the building…A challenge was helping participants find ways of speaking for themselves while avoiding the stigma sometimes attached to older people…” said Jennifer.

CASCP is the statewide association for professionals working in the 156 senior centers in Connecticut.