Elevating social work for over 60 years

Jane Hurt dedicates her life and career to bring hope to those hurting in the Roanoke Valley.

In honor of Social Work Month 2019, which begins today and is celebrated in March each year, we honor Jane’s long-time commitment to the field and our agency.

She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, specializing in geriatric and caregiver counseling. Jane began her career in 1956 as a social worker for the Virginia Social Service Bureau. In 1971, Jane joined the staff of Family Service of Roanoke Valley as a Bachelor of Social Work in Protective Services for the Aged Project. Jane was promoted to the Director of Homemaker Services in 1986. She retired as the Director of Older Adult Services on April 30, 2000.

Shortly after retirement, Jane returned to Family Service as an Outpatient Counselor. She continues to serve as a part-time clinician today. Jane recently celebrated 48 years at Family Service.

Did you say over 60 years?

In a field where turnover rates are high because of burnout, compassion fatigue and relatively low salaries, remaining in the field for 63 years is exceptional. To do so while remaining passionate and energetic is almost inconceivable. Jane does both!

She comes to work everyday inspired and energized about the people she serves and the people she works with.  Young professionals continue to learn from Jane’s vast experience. When she joins the lunch table, more than one person walks away with a new bit of wisdom from Jane. 

Jane touches the lives of many through the years. Clients experience Jane’s boundless compassion and her gentle, yet direct style of counseling.  Her journey mirrors countless individuals and families as they face the challenges that come with aging. 

Social work begins in the heart

According to Mental Health America, “More than two million of the 34 million Americans age 65 and older suffer from some sort of depression.”  For many falling into this category across the Roanoke Valley, Jane Hurt has helped them see the light at the end of a long, foreboding tunnel. 

Those of us who are blessed to work alongside her can’t help but wonder if a little bit of that light is her own. 

“How far that little candle throws [her] beam! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”  William Shakespeare