Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Exercising Free Will to Sign Up for Case Management Services

"I told my friend/daughter/grandma about your program and I want to sign her up for services." Don't get me wrong, I love when folks in our 6 buildings spread the word about our supportive housing program and tell them they could get a case manager at my agency. But usually when an established client calls on behalf of another person to sign her up for services the other person doesn't follow through. I'm not necessarily doubting the sincerity in my callers or their friends' interest in the program. But after a few no shows (when I had relented and set up an appointment for the new person without having talked to him) I started redirecting callers to have their referral person call me directly.

A more extreme case happened to my coworker. Apparently someone had brought in a resident (over 18) and told her, "Here, these people can help you" and left. When the lady met with my coworker to do an intake she refused to give any information beyond her name, birthdate, and address. I'm presuming some mental health issues were at work from the way my coworker described their interaction. For example, after the third time my coworker explained what services our department provided the client looked around her and asked, "so what is it you all do?"

Situations like this make me see the advantages in the fact that folks living in the buildings we serve people aren't required to sign up for our program (specifically case management services) so they come of their own free will. Though we focus some energy in drawing new folks in.

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