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Information and Referral: Helping People Lead a Life Without Limits. Lara Terrell, MSW June 20, 2008. I&R Overview UCP Network Technology Discussion. I&R: A Key UCP Service Offering.

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Information and Referral: Helping People Lead a Life Without Limits

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Presentation Transcript
I&R Overview
  • UCP Network
  • Technology
  • Discussion
i r a key ucp service offering
I&R: A Key UCP Service Offering

“AFFILIATE shall conduct information and referral efforts within the territory consistent with the purposes and objectives of UCP. In performing this function, AFFILIATE shall work with UCP in order to ensure national consistency in these efforts”—UCP Affiliate Bylaws”

what is i r
What is I&R?
  • "I" is for information. Broadly defined as providing information in response to the caller’s request. It can be as simple as providing a telephone number or address or more complex such informing the caller about how the community service system "works" in the local area.
  • The "R" is for referral. It consists of assessing the needs of the inquirer, identifying appropriate resources, indicating organizations capable of meeting those needs, providing enough information about each organization to help inquirers make an informed choice, helping inquirers for whom services are unavailable by locating alternative resources, and, when necessary, actively participating in linking the inquirer to needed services.
principles of i r
Principles of I&R
  • Attempt to understand each inquirer’s situation including the origins of the difficulty, the feelings inquirers have about their circumstances, the personal resources inquirers may bring to bear on the issue, and the barriers to resolution of the problem.
  • Offer immediate and appropriate response when the individual is experiencing a crisis or other emergency situation.
  • Be available, not to solve inquirers’ problems for them, but to empower inquirers to understand and solve their own problems.
  • Help inquirers prioritize their needs and build an action plan.
  • Help inquirers identify resources that can meet their needs.
  • Be careful not to overwhelm inquirers with a myriad of options or provide them with too few to allow them an informed choice.
i r activities
I&R Activities

Not just the telephone….

  • Newsletter
  • Informational bulletin board
  • Factsheets/brochures
  • Community outreach activities
  • Linkages/partnerships with other organizations
  • Website content
Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS)
    • To provide leadership and support to the membership to advance the capacity of a standards-driven Information and Referral industry that brings people and services together.”

i r standards why do we need them
I&R Standards: Why Do We Need Them?
  • Standards provide reference points which define expected practices within the field and provide guidelines organizations can use when they develop an I&R program to meet the needs of their people.
  • Standards serve as indicators of service quality and effectiveness, aid in the development of new I&R services and can be used to upgrade established services.
standards allow you to
Standards Allow You to:
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in I&R services and systems
  • Clarify the mission of the I&R service
  • Develop short and long term goals and objectives
  • Define staff roles and responsibilities
  • Assess management commitment to enhancing I&R services
  • Establish a long range strategic plan for the I&R service
  • Promote systems improvement planning
i r standards why we need them now
I&R Standards: Why We Need Them Now!

Goal is to rebuild the image of UCP as the preeminent source for disability information and raise the awareness and profile of Affiliates nationally and internationally

  • I&R is often the public’s first contact with UCP
    • Services vary widely among affiliates. Need to share ideas and information for quality and consistency
  • UCP Initiatives will drive traffic to Affiliates
      • Life Without Limits
      • My Child Without Limits
Social/Future Trends
    • Aging population
    • Increase in healthcare costs
    • Advances in assistive technology
    • Funding shortages on both Federal and state levels
  • Data and Metrics for Capacity Building
    • I&R services collect significant amounts of information about the needs, interests, priorities, and emerging problems of people with disabilities and their families. Information potentially useful to the Affiliate and UCP network, as well as policymakers.
capacity building
Capacity Building
  • Stagnant/decreased funding for health and human services programs means even greater competition for grants and contracts
  • Information gained from I&R services can help to:
    • Raise public awareness about services and advocacy issues
    • Identify service gaps through data collection
    • Document need for new/expanded services
    • Demonstrate need for funding
    • Form partnerships with other community organizations
together we will
Together We Will…

Build the UCP I&R Network!

  • Establish UCP Best Practices
    • Based on “what works” across the network
    • Form I&R advisory committee
    • AIRS standards
  • Provide technical assistance and support through information exchange
establish ucp best practices
Establish UCP Best Practices
  • Training I&R Staff
  • Resource Database
      • Updating
      • Defining inclusion and exclusion policies
      • Scope of resources for inclusion
      • Consumer privacy notices
  • Website
    • Provide listings of resources
    • Link to National I&R section
    • State Resource Guides
  • Data tracking and metrics
    • Who is calling, how they heard about UCP, etc.
    • Improve our use of technology to transform the information we learn from I&R contacts into knowledge
technical assistance resources
Technical Assistance Resources
  • Online Offerings
    • I&R Section on UCP Website
  • Resource Materials (fact sheets, guides)
  • Weekly Newsletter articles
  • I&R Workgroup Teleconferences
  • Surveys
  • UCP E-Advocate/E-Communications Specialist
online offerings for i r staff
Online Offerings for I&R Staff

New CMS will provide:

  • Blog
  • Forums
  • Online Community
  • Project workspaces for shared work
  • Content, documents and assets can be created, edited and managed among team members
using technology for information dissemination
Using Technology forInformation Dissemination
  • Blogs
  • Wiki
  • E-newsletters
  • Listservs
  • Social Networking
  • Website

Take full advantage of available technologies to maximize both information systems management and consumer access to information resources

The challenge and opportunity will be to effectively harness the capacity of the entire information resource system to generate data and information useful for planning, improving I&R services, anticipating future problems, and training front line personnel. Information and assistance programs are well positioned to share best practice models and generate new knowledge valuable to professionals and policymakers