Some issues are straightforward. People just need help filling out redetermination forms for food stamps. Easy. A referral for a dentist in your neighborhood? OK, well you have Medicaid, so yes, it may take time but we could find a few dentist options. Yet some situations need more than one session to solve. A client gets behind on rent again due to money mismanagement. A client doesn't follow through on referrals yet comes back and says she still needs help. There's a larger issue here and it relates to the client's behavior and choices.
How can I expect people to change their lifestyle quickly when I see how in myself and people close to me that this is difficult to do? This bearing in mind that I and many of my loved ones grew up in a stable household and supportive environment.
Client's established behavior is not the only reason issues take time to resolve. Bureaucracy is part of it. Lack of resources, like when a client asks me about a legal matter but his income is just above the limit for free legal advice. Providers may not be reliable. It's tough being the mediating party between the client and a targeted service.
Pacing is crucial when you have a caseload of 40-50 people. Even back when I had a caseload of 30 people I would be quick to schedule a follow up appointment in a week's time even when an issue could wait. I prioritize much better now which gives me a bit more space to breathe. I also continue being better in encouraging clients to try advocating for themselves (perhaps with some coaching) before I step in.