3.7 Voluntary Case Management Strategies

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Presented by Andrea White of Housing Innovations and Anne Melbin of NNEDV.

Interest in voluntary models of case management is growing with the increased use of rapid re-housing and permanent supportive housing models. Speakers in this workshop will discuss engagement strategies and the organizational shift needed to serve families through a voluntary approach. Panelists will focus on services for young mothers and survivors of domestic violence.

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3.7 Voluntary Case Management Strategies

  1. 1. Voluntary Case Management Strategies NAEH Family Homelessness Conference February 10, 2011 Anna Melbin, NNEDV & Andrea White, Housing Innovations Purpose of Our Work Social justice People are the experts in their own lives Our motivation, purpose Our program’s purpose, mission, goal Beliefs about the work  Housing is a basic human right, not a reward for good behavior“When you do this work on behalf of other women, you become stronger” – Lynn Rosenthal © NNEDV. All rights reserved What are Voluntary Services? Goal based Structured around real expectations:  Lease, eligibility standards, legal issues, CPS requirements Provides information and choice Addresses identified needs 1
  2. 2. Transition Transition from an acute model to a long term model From a symptom-based model to goal-based models From crisis response to long term planning Look at long term change Provide housing as a base What Are People Asking For A Safe Affordable Place To Live Community Services Appropriate To Their Needs Choice and Respect Money Enough To Live On A Role In The Community And In Their Families A Chance For Their Children And Themselves To Get Ahead Why Voluntary Services? A critical component of Accessibility Research indicates Best Practice National trend and increasingly a grant requirement (OVW, FVPSA) Participants support this approach Don’t worry, be happy!  staff say they’re happier, chaos didn’t ensue, & the world didn’t end © NNEDV. All rights reserved 2
  3. 3. Common Misconceptions ~ Voluntary Services means… I can never ask participants to do anything, or initiate unsolicited contact. I always have to wait for them to come to me. I can’t intervene, even for a concern about safety or emotional well-being. I can’t institute any rules, even for legal reasons or safety. © NNEDV. All rights reserved Common Misconceptions ~ Voluntary Services means…  Participants will ‘sit around and do nothing’  If I don’t require services, I’ll never know if the program is ‘working’.  I can never ask anyone to leave the program, unless for illegal behavior or if their time is up. © NNEDV. All rights reserved Consider this…. “It is not just an issue of whether problems are solved or needs are met, but rather the manner in which mobilization of resources occurs that is a major determinant of the empowerment of individuals and groups.” Dunst, C. J.&Trivette, C. M. (1994). What is effective helping? In C. J. Dunst, C. M. Trivette,& A. G. Deal (Eds.), Supporting and strengthening families: Vol. 1. Methods, strategies and practices (pp. 162-170). Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books. © NNEDV. All rights reserved 3
  4. 4. Tasks Ask people what they want, where they want to be in 5 years Connect people’s dreams and goals for their families to housing as the first step Educate people about available housing options and expectations of each Identify skills and supports needed to maintain chosen housing options Establish housing access or housing stability as a primary goal Assist people to secure an income Tasks Prepare for the expectations of each housing opportunity Plan for and assist in maintaining housing (paying rent, apartment maintenance and upkeep, complying with the lease and following house rules, accessing aftercare services and supports) Case Management: Engagement Strategies • Pro-active outreach • Introduce yourself and how you can be helpful • Repeated, predictable, non-intrusive patterns of interaction • Responding to felt needs • Respecting boundaries • Allowing people as much control as possible over interactions • Be patient and persistent • Listen 4
  5. 5. Goal Based Engagement and Assessment Strategies Explore what the persons/ family’s choice means History (i.e. housing, employment) How person/ family became homeless, lost employment/ income Preferences Financial Issues Implications of disabilities or service needs and how this relates to goal Long term goals, particularly as relate to children Finding Common Ground Negotiation Strategies  Link proposed option to client’s aspirations  Frame move as intermediate  Reflect on clients experience in housing to better understand current needs  Open up discussion of other options  Test available options with peers  Negotiate to improve skills/resources to access/maintain preferred option Finding Common Ground Worker should be forthright about the reasons for assessment and what they are able to access Worker should anticipate reactions to disagreement and remain connected 5
  6. 6. Begin: Developing the Plan to Work Together Elicit and listen to the parent and reflect back to clarify and check understanding Goal setting is an individual process Empathize about goal setting and unmet goals Listen to resident’s perception of past successes and struggles in reaching goals List and discuss strengths that may facilitate reaching goals Engaging Participants Individualized services, policies and approach Meaningful opportunities for participant-input, to increase relevance and appeal Recognize the power of language Informal opportunities to get to know participants – fun, recreation, interaction Use resources as method (excuse) of checking-in Rely on natural consequences to relationship-build © NNEDV. All rights reserved Engaging Staff Measure and reward what is important to your program: What does excellence look like? Track changes over time (journals) Create “VS Committee” Explore and challenge personal biases, values and beliefs Build staff relationships and trust. Have fun, foster mutual respect and self-care. © NNEDV. All rights reserved 6
  7. 7. Program Level  Clarify program goal/mission  Let go of “savior” persona  Review policies and rules often (annually). Put them to the test: Effective? Necessary? Respectful? Enforceable?  Examine outcomes and measures of success © NNEDV. All rights reserved Community Level  Create buy-in - referral sources, program reputation, other’s funding issues  Manage funder’s expectations – outcomes, goals, definition of success  Re-define success: program and participant © NNEDV. All rights reserved A Word About Outcomes “An outcome is a change in knowledge, attitude, skill, behavior, expectation, emotional status, or life circumstance due to the service being provided” Success is participant-defined; not defined solely by “numbers” Adapt services to meet participant’s goals Adapt grants and other funder-related documents Some participants still may not be “successful” © NNEDV. All rights reserved 7
  8. 8. Voices From The Field“The VS approach is really based in trust, respect, removing power imbalances and focusing on how we as service providers are more alike than unalike the people we serve.”“The only insight that I have in doing this work is that you will never figure it all out. Life is messy. Violence and trauma do horrible things to people. Poverty and oppression can bring out the worse in people. We can not develop the perfect set of rules (even the most well intentioned) and guarantee that everything will be perfect…we cannot and should not control other people. We truly do need to listen to what women are saying that they need. Not what we want them to have.” © NNEDV. All rights reserved Food for Thought… Relationships are everything! Attendance at classes and groups may decrease Some participants may not need or have time for additional supportive services Program may need to redefine program outcomes and meaning of Success. Some participants still may not ‘be successful’ © NNEDV. All rights reserved Resources National Network to End Domestic Violence  TA and training  Template policies, program materials  Interviews with survivors in transitional housing State “No Rules” Projects 8
  9. 9. THANK YOU! Anna Melbin Andrea White 207-847-3199 andrea.white.ny@gmail.comamelbin@nnedv.org www.nnedv.org 9

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