Saturday, February 6, 2010

Helping a Person Outside Agency's Catchment Area

Though we serve a good portion of the city we don't serve the entire city. We sometimes get calls from outside our coverage area -- even from neighboring towns. Typically these folks have heard of us through family or friends. What to do in a case like this but offer an alternative agency or program that may help.

In certain cases it can be tough to tell people we can't help them with case management services, particularly when they seem to be in great need of help (experiencing homelessness or have children for example). They've already made the effort to reach out for help and they aren't able to find it at your agency -- though of course, we're hardly the only social service agency around.

As the caller phoning the agency blindly you may get lucky. Someone may answer your call who has 10 minutes to talk to you and give you advice about applying for help elsewhere. Talk your issue out. Other times no one may be at the office or a worker doesn't know or doesn't have time available to talk. Still, it may help to try and call the social service agency and ask to speak with a case manager or social worker for advice or referral. Not to mention talking to friends, families, and acquaintances for advice on agencies -- which is a good deal of how reputations of agencies spread through the community.

1 comment:

Pittsburgh Perambulations said...

Unfortunately, whether it's a case management service or any service in life, people often have to go through a telephone trail before they reach the destination that can be of service to them. It can be annoying, but if you're willing to put in the time, you'll eventually get where you need to be. I think most of us CMs and social workers will do anything within our boundaries to help another person out.