Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's The Follow Up Dance!

And... You take a client's hand, you take a step back, client walks off, you dosey do around your coworker and woooop and you lost sight of client. Where did she go? You got a call back from the her public aid case worker and you have the information she was asking about. Client's phone is disconnected....

It's not that clients don't fall off the radar on occasion. Since clients seek case management services voluntarily at Empoder it's not necessarily expected they'll come back after an intake or even a couple of visits. Two disconnects may occur on a client's initiative. In one it's with a client while you're working together to resolve an issue he's dealing with. In this case it's hard for me not to be able to see the problem through to some resolution. The second type of client distancing herself is when, after a relationship and ongoing regular contact is established with a client, she suddenly distances herself for an extended period of time (over a month). In this second case*, particularly with clients we've worked with for some time, we do try to check in with them (by phone, letter, or home visits) which is something I like about the program.

No doubt, I understand the many situations where a client was dealing with an issue and was able to resolve it herself or with the help of someone else -- I just want to know what happened and how it was resolved. To be sure I've accepted that I may very well not get this sometimes. Or -- I'll get a call in eight months time asking to follow up on that "situation we had talked about..."

* Though this is often done to a degree in the first case scenario too.

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