4 tips for meeting with families in crisis | CarePortalGO Project
Supporting kids and families in crisis through social services programs is a complex space. Meeting new people in general can be challenging. Receiving support from strangers can make simple exchanges even more difficult and awkward. Families may be embarrassed they need help, grateful or even standoffish. We’re here to help you navigate and give you the tools and information necessary to make meeting needs through CarePortal a beneficial process to all involved. We are here to offer support to children and families in crisis, not judge.
“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you-who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12
Below are a few different situations you may encounter when responding to a request and our tips on how to best face them.
What do you do when you can’t reach the caseworker/family?
Be patient and give them time. Caseworkers have a lot on their plates and many conflicting priorities. Families are dealing with a variety of issues, some of which include limited phone access. If you can’t reach the family, contact their caseworker to intervene. If you can’t reach the caseworker, try their supervisor (their info will be in the bottom of the request). Sometimes text messages are more effective than phone calls.
What do you do when you see something concerning during a connection?
Do not intervene, but instead, contact the caseworker. Sometimes they suspect things, but have no evidence. Sometimes they are aware of issues and are working with the family to address them. Sometimes we become aware of things the family hasn’t disclosed to them. Keep in mind that we are coming in with love, and our attitude is not to be judgmental or unkind, but the safety of children is paramount to all of us.
What do you do when a connection is not a feel-good moment?
Remember, this is about service and obedience to Jesus. We’re not in this work for our benefit, but for that of those whom we serve. There is always more to their story, a lack of gratitude is likely rooted in pain. Let’s have compassion for that. Christ is pleased when we sacrifice on His behalf, even if a family doesn’t show gratitude. This work is hard, but it is good work!
What do you when a family identifies other needs during a connection?
This takes discernment as each connection experience is different. It is usually a good idea to check in with the caseworker before jumping in to meet needs. Sometimes what we assume is a need isn’t actually a desire of the family at all. If the family makes a specific request, it’s still a good idea to connect with the caseworker first and prayerfully engage, valuing the new connection you have made over transactions.
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