Monday, August 23, 2010

At Some Point, Just Tell Client You're Going to Do Something

I have a client, Mary, who's eligible for a voucher that may be used for occasional health screenings/clothes/food at a location near her house. It's a great program but the voucher needs to be renewed every 3 years. Since Mary's voucher expired four months ago she has been going elsewhere to get these services but isn't always able to consistently get them and usually ends up spending a lot more time traveling to other agencies.

Mary doesn't want to renew her voucher. It is a bit of a hassle since the voucher needs to be renewed at a location further away from her. On the other hand this one trip means more support for three years. Part of the reason she doesn't want to go (and this affects our working relationship in other ways) is because Mary has mental health issues that she's not receiving medication for.

For the past three months I've been encouraging her to sign up for the voucher and have offered to go with her several times but Mary usually says she has a lot of other matters to take care of and has refused my help.

I was talking to a coworker about this and she suggested that I don't offer to go with my client but just tell her, "Let's take care of this at this and this time." Don't ask, but present it as a task to be completed. It's true I've tried this approach with other clients, particularly those that I've worked with closely and it has usually worked. Let's see how it works with this client. 

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