Helping Your Clients Survive Hard TImes

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On June 23 and 28, 211info hosted two seminars entitled: Helping Your Clients Survive Hard Times. These are the notes from both sessions.

On June 23 and 28, 211info hosted two seminars entitled: Helping Your Clients Survive Hard Times. These are the notes from both sessions.

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  • 1. Welcome
    Helping Your Clients
    Survive Hard Times
    June 23, 2011
  • 2. What I am expecting today…
    Learning new information to help clients
    Know how to deal with participants
    Help low-income seniors, especially with discrimination
    Reminded to keep compassion
    What’s available to help new clients
    Tips for working with clients
    Learn more about 211info
    Understanding impact on staff
    Tips for decreasing burn out and compassion fatigue
    Hear about agencies and resources
    How to best understand and help callers, especially those in crisis
    Tools to help those seeking work for someone new to social services
  • 3. Help clients facing rental assistance challenges
    Learning about handling difficult conversations and how to help staff
    Tips for being a better advocate
    Tips for effective communication
  • 4. Group Themes
    Challenges of having people in personal lives facing challenges and then speaking with people with similar issues at work
    Harder not to take difficult situations home – “ticker tape mind”, practicing mindfulness
    Tell the truth compassionately and be a good listener
    Open compassion beyond field
    People are giving up because of the economy
    How can we empower people to find different solutions?
    The ability to say “no” is important, and keep larger context in mind
    Spread the word to many different groups about people who need help
  • 5. Group Themes (2/2)
    Have to deal with clients who are impacted by circumstances beyond our control
    Serving generational poverty and “new poor”
    More emotions and feelings behind issues
    Complex needs are the norm- need for creative problem solving
    Feels like we aren’t doing our jobs properly
  • 6. Tips for working w/ clients
    Build emotional muscles
    The answer isn’t just “no”
    Be honest and listen
    De-escalate and reinforce what can be done
    Prioritize – “you’ve done enough today”
    Help clients remember self care
    Idea: training for supervisors
  • 7. Taking care of yourself
    Develop support systems outside of social service – when you leave work have something to go to
    Let yourself tantrum when you need to, let yourself have the feeling you have
    Audience Idea: powerful to trust that we don’t have to have all the answers
    “Do no harm”
  • 8. Taking care of yourself (2/2)
    If we can’t be present for ourselves we can’t be there for clients
    Empower client to utilize community around them
    Self care:
    communicate w/ manager
    If needs aren’t being met, problem solve how to fix situation with HR or coworkers
    Audience: have behavioral health staff, agree with manager to “be real” with each other, helpful to know if it is a venting conversation, use humor
    Burnout is contagious - coworkers can help each other
    Recognize personal strengths and weaknesses
    Empowerment and mindfulness!
  • 9. Handouts
    Rescue triangle
    Active listening
    Other tools
  • 10. Welcome
    Helping Your Clients
    Survive Hard Times
    June 28, 2011
  • 11. Questions for Discussion
    How has the recession changed your work?
    What will an economic recovery mean to your clients?
    What are your strategies for saying “no”?
  • 12. Themes from groups
    Lack of resources and increased work loads
    No longer specialists, have to bring a multifaceted dimension to our work
    Change behavior to everyone helping each other – break down silos, expand networks
    New poor aren’t used to navigating human services system
    We’ve changed our own behavior – “we go where they are” and change our approaches to outreach
    New poor still doing old behavior
    Listen to where client is at, adjust vernacular
  • 13. Helping clients (pg 1)
    People might be looking to blame someone, use that as educational moment and pivot discussion
    Focus on what can be done and not get drawn into emotionally charged conversation
    Establish boundaries of what can be done and work within those parameters
    “I’m going to be real honest with you”
    Affirm self efficacy then deal with realities at hand with creative problem solving
  • 14. Helping clients (pg 2)
    Help people prioritize needs
    Be as compassionate as possible
    Say “no” with compassion
    Be genuine and honest
    Help person accept situation and then plan
    Help people understand landscape of options
    Audience: creative problem solving
    barter for services
    advocate for self
    Coaching on how to access services
    Give person permission to self advocate
    It isn’t begging it is negotiating
  • 15. Helping clients (pg 3)
    Audience: support group for patients online and offline, mentoring and support
    Give people permission to go to emergency room/seek services – “your life matters”
    Audience: agencies need to go with the flow and get off script – don’t go in with expectations
    Expectations are resentments waiting to happen
  • 16. Helping yourself
    Process feelings and let your self “throw tantrum”
    Have to accept that you will take things home, choice is how to manage that
    Audience: Start with self, clear everything
  • 17. Helping Yourself: Audience Groups
    What do you do at your agency to help staff stay healthy?
    Always go to lunch/tea together
    Walk to the post office
    Recognize “this isn’t normal” and we chose this profession
    Set time limits on talking about day, then move on
    Have activities outside work about non-work related topics
    What would you like to have that would help improve staff health?
  • 18. Helping yourself
    Self care, boundaries, compassion fatigue
    One person makes a huge difference
    Be mindful and present about what’s going on inside yourself
    Recognize compassion fatigue
    Getting angry and impatient at client
    Thinking “My job is pointless”
    Hold leadership accountable – ask for help an any time
  • 19. Helping yourself
    At the workplace
    Add 15 mins to end of day to extend lunch
    Yumm, cheese!
    Outside of work activities with coworkers and understanding each other
    Though, limit amount of coworker interaction
    Keep going to managers and talk with them
    Focus on and understand what can/can’t change (i.e. staff won’t increase)
    Hold managers accountable
    Audience: how to deal with stress of constant sarcasm?
    This is a red flag for compassion fatigue, be aware and try to cut down on it – can erode compassion
    Talk with leadership about cultural competency reminder training
    Focus on strengths perspective, normalize experience, reinforce positivity
  • 20. Helping yourself
    Audience: Spend time highlighting success stories
    Send emails to staff of stories
    Be good example of positivity
    Audience: “beyond the bubble bath” – help yourself thrive with training opportunities – talk with manager
    Audience: Interact with others in field to gain perspective
    Audience: Respect position you are in and always be proud of what you are achieving
    Relish the impact you are making on people’s lives
    Have frank conversation with staff about whether this position is still right for them if you see them getting burned out
    Explore strength-based counseling
    Be willing to change the game to bring enjoyment to changing responsibility
    Be a clown!