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.

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Helping Your Clients Survive Hard TImes

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