Cal J. Halvorsen is an Assistant Professor at the Boston College School of Social Work, Senior Research Fellow at Encore.org, and co-lead of the Grand Challenge to Advance Long and Productive Lives through the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare. Here, you will find information about some of his recent work:
Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)
Dr. Halvorsen partnered with Kelsey Werner, the director of Social & Community Based Systems Modeling at the Boston College School of Social Work, to release a report on how SCSEP—the sole federal workforce program for low-income older adults—influences the financial, physical, and mental well-being of participants. The report includes a set of actionable recommendations to strengthen the program developed in collaboration with SCSEP participants and case managers. Through this community based system dynamics project, they partnered with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in the summer of 2020. The sessions, which were virtual due to the pandemic, yielded helpful insights into the role that SCSEP plays in the lives of participants while providing a roadmap to strengthening the program to further increase participant well-being. Dr. Halvorsen has since presented to state and national SCSEP administrators on the study’s results. This work builds upon his publications with the director of Massachusetts’ SCSEP program on ideas for enhancing the program and how SCSEP administrators responded to the needs of their older participants in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In late 2020 and with support from the RRF Foundation for Aging, Dr. Halvorsen commenced a two-year partnership with Encore.org to evaluate its new Gen2Gen Innovation Fellowship while consulting with fellows to aid their growing intergenerational programs throughout the country. In his new role as Senior Research Fellow at Encore.org, Dr. Halvorsen builds on his rich history with this dynamic nonprofit advocacy organization, including his 2019 report on the implications of an aging society, selection in the inaugural Encore Public Voices Fellowship, and six years at the organization in various roles that culminated in being named its director of research and evaluation. This work also builds on Dr. Halvorsen’s previous intergenerational research with Mon Ami on their intergenerational companions and the benefits to younger companions from time spent with older people.
Self-employment and entrepreneurship in later life
Much of Dr. Halvorsen’s scholarly work has considered the antecedents, experiences, and outcomes of self-employment and entrepreneurship in later life. Building upon his conceptual framework, his recent work considers the level of interest in starting new organizations in a diverse group of older Americans and how key social safety net programs in later life—including Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare—might increase the diversity of self-employed older people.