First Course: Introduction to Information & Referral

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Information and Referral (or just plain “I&R”) is the art and science of bringing people and services together. If you are new to the field, this interactive course is where you will learn some of the background on what that really means. This course is meant as a guide for new staff of an information and referral (I&R) service. It should be viewed as part of the I&R orientation process, covering the nature, purpose, structure, and unique qualities of I&R services. This includes an introduction to the AIRS Standards and an overview of the various ways in which I&R services operate (it is appropriate for experienced I&R practitioners). The course was written by AIRS staff member, Clive Jones, a former President of InformCanada, who is responsible for the AIRS Certification Program, in addition to assisting with training and standards development. It was adapted from material within The ABCs of I&R (copyright AIRS). AIRS is the nonprofit Alliance of Information and Referral Systems at www.airs.org.

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Part 1: Introduction and Overview
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. I&R is an integral part of the overall human service sector. I&R organizations create maintain databases of human services and make that information available to individuals and communities through a variety of communication channels - including directly to clients through the mediated access with a Community Resource Specialist.
Part 1: Review Exercise
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  10/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  10/10 points to pass Choose which word would correctly fill in the blank with each question.
Part 2: Characteristics of I&R
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. I&R provides people from all backgrounds with the information about a broad range of community, social, health, and government services that might otherwise be unknown to them. It opens doors into the human service delivery system and helps people obtain access to services they need.
Part 2: Review Exercise
1 Question  |  Unlimited attempts  |  8/8 points to pass
1 Question  |  Unlimited attempts  |  8/8 points to pass Which characteristic is the best match for each activity described?
Part 3: The Landscape of Human Services
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. The essence of I&R is to assess the client and their needs, and then to determine the service/program that can provide them with the most appropriate help, regardless of who is providing that help. Most people are not familiar with the term “human services” and even people who are the parts of “human services sector” might not all share the same idea of what that term means or encompasses.
Part 4: I&R Resource Databases
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. I&R programs collect information about, and link people to, an array of programs and services geared to addressing the needs of individuals, families and communities. This information is maintained in a resource database and should be retrievable through a variety of searching options and techniques.
Part 3 and 4: Review Exercise
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  10/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  10/10 points to pass Which statements are true and which are false?
Part 5: History of I&R
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. The function of directly matching real need with available service (the essence of I&R) has been around for quite a long time, although the term “I&R” itself is comparatively recent.
Parts 5: Review Exercise
1 Question  |  Unlimited attempts  |  6/6 points to pass
1 Question  |  Unlimited attempts  |  6/6 points to pass
Part 6: I&R Systems and the AIRS Standards
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Nearly every health and human services organization performs some I&R. Whenever a client is referred to another service, that's I&R. These organizations generally use the I&R products such as directories and websites to get their information.
Part 6: Review Exercise
8 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  8/8 points to pass
8 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  8/8 points to pass
AIRS: Introduction to Information & Referral (Quiz)
12 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  9/12 points to pass
12 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  9/12 points to pass
Certificate of Completion
1.50 Hour(s) of Professional Development credits  |  Certificate available
1.50 Hour(s) of Professional Development credits  |  Certificate available