You will conduct a study of the community resources for the field of Human Services. If you are majoring in a different discipline (i.e., I/O or Criminal Justice) you may choose to create a Decision Tree according to your discipline of study.
Step 1: Identify a potential crisis or emergency where you would have to intervene on behalf of a client. For example, a client tells you that she is afraid to go home due to abuse she has been suffering in the home.
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Step 2: Identify organizations, shelters, social service agencies, and first responders in your community that could be potential referral sources for this situation.
Step 3: Identify the contact person or department for each of these resources. Be sure to include phone numbers, emails, faxes, and addresses for each.
Step 4: Contact in person or by phone each resource on your list and ask the questions below. Be sure to document each response. Document any important additional information you glean during your information-gathering calls or visits. Be sure to document all of your attempts to reach each agency and organization.
• What is the best way to access the organization’s services?
• Is this the best number to call?
• What are the extents of the services offered?
• What are the criteria for clients to receive these services? Who is eligible?
• How does the organization provide continuity of care to clients? What additional services will be available or offered to clients once they become involved with this organization?
• Will you be able to have contact with your clients once they are involved with this service/organization?
• What is the organization’s policy on client follow-up?
• What role do you or your agency play in responding to emergencies?
Step 5: Once you have made contact with at least seven resources, organize a chart of these resources in a hierarchal order so that you will best be able to respond to the emergency situation that you are investigating. You will have to develop a plan of action and put the first step you need to take at the top with each of the next steps in order of how you would carry out the plan of action. You should have at least three tiers of contacts in your Decision Tree.
Step 6: Documentation – be sure to include a place on your spreadsheet or graph where you can include any required follow–up documentation and notes. You may also put this information in a separate document.
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