First Course: Introduction to Information & Referral

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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.

This course is designed for anyone filling any role in any I&R organization!

When you have successfully completed this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the nature of I&R
  • Identify the variety of roles performed by an I&R for individuals, families and communities
  • Describe the importance of the AIRS Standards

Key:

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Let's Begin...
4 Questions
4 Questions Begin your journey through this topic by answering these questions.
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
Discussion
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Imagine a group of typical people, each representing an age group (for example, from a newly born baby to someone in the last stages of life). What type of services is each individual (or their main family support) likely to need? Provide your thoughts on this topic. You need to share one idea in order to progress to the final quiz.
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
BONUS Content
AIRS STANDARDS AND QUALITY INDICATORS FOR PROFESSIONAL INFORMATION AND REFERRAL
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. The AIRS Standards Committee is pleased to release the 9th edition of the AIRS Standards and Quality Indicators for Professional Information and Referral. The Standards address all aspects of an I&R program. They define the information and referral process in concrete terms; establish criteria for database development; mandate support for community planning activities; incorporate a broad view of collaboration at the local, state or provincial, regional and national levels; include provisions for the socially responsible use of technology; describe the role of information and referral services in times of disaster; and oversee an ongoing quality assurance and evaluation process.
BONUS: AIRS Ethical Principles for Community Resource Specialists
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. These Ethical Principles are intended to serve as a guide to the everyday professional conduct of Community Resource Specialists in the provision of Information and Referral (I&R).
BONUS: Sectors of Human Services
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Human Services: The activities of human services professionals that help people become more self-sufficient, prevent dependency, strengthen family relationships, support personal and social development and ensure the well-being of individuals, families, groups and communities. Specific human services include ensuring that people have access to adequate food, shelter, clothing and transportation; financial resources to meet their needs; consumer advice and education; criminal justice or legal services; education and employment; health and mental health care including substance abuse services; and environmental protection; both routinely and in times of disaster or other emergencies. Human services also facilitate the capabilities of people to care for children or other dependents; ensure that protective services are available to those who are vulnerable; provide for the support of older adults and people with disabilities; offer social, religious, and leisure time activities; provide for the cultural enrichment of the community; and ensure that people have the information they need to fully participate in community life.