Service Delivery: Empowerment and Advocacy in Information and Referral

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Information and Referral is about much more than providing the “I” (Information) and the “R” (Referral). It is about empowering people to help themselves both now and in future situations; while it is sometimes also about advocating for people who are not currently able to help themselves.

Empowerment and advocacy are fundamental principles of I&R. 

This interactive course is for Information & Referral (I&R) Specialists who handle human service inquiries from the public and the supervisors who oversee this essential work. The course describes the nature of empowerment (helping people to help themselves) and advocacy (when people really need additional support) within the context of I&R.

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).

This course may not be applicable to human service professionals engaged in case management activities.

AIRS is the nonprofit Alliance of Information and Referral Systems at www.airs.org.

Learning Objectives

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

  1. Define the concept of empowerment within an I&R environment.
  2. Describe the meaning of advocacy in I&R and identify situations in which advocacy is necessary.

Recognize the difference between individual and system advocacy and     examples of each.

Key:

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3 Questions
Part 1: Empowerment
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Under perfect circumstances, I&R calls involve gathering information that allows clients to better understand their situation, providing appropriate referrals that offer effective choice, and then leaving individuals to take the next steps themselves.
Part 1: Review Exercise
0 Question  |  Unlimited attempts  |  0/0 points to pass
0 Question  |  Unlimited attempts  |  0/0 points to pass
Part 2: Individual Advocacy
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Advocacy is described in the AIRS Standards as the occasional need for the I&R service to directly intervene to help a specific person in a certain situation (individual advocacy) or to inform the public and/or decision-makers of a situation affecting a larger group of people (system advocacy).
Part 2: Review Exercise
1 Question  |  Unlimited attempts  |  4/4 points to pass
1 Question  |  Unlimited attempts  |  4/4 points to pass
Part 3: System Advocacy
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. An I&R service creates, maintains and disseminates human services information. Besides the resource database of services located within a community, the I&R is in a unique position to develop a wealth of detailed and insightful information about the collective needs of individuals and communities.
Discussion
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. When calling an agency to advocate on behalf of a client, what are likely to be the first reactions of the professional staff in the organization that you are calling? What ways are there to best present the situation of the client? What ways might you want to avoid?
AIRS: Empowerment and Advocacy in Information and Referral (Quiz)
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  8/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  8/10 points to pass
Certificate of Completion
1.00 Hour(s) of Professional Development credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 Hour(s) of Professional Development credit  |  Certificate available
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