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Does anybody here work in the Social Services fields?

Ok, here's my problem... I work for a charitable, non profit organization, running a transitional living center. We house around 100 people, singles and families, and provide supportive services to them (ie; case management). Because our organization believes in hiring people who deserve a second chance (which I support), I have staff under me who do not fully understand "best practices" in social service work.

For example, issues like an agency will come to us to check on one of their clients (DHS or parole and probation), and my staff thinking our release of information covers casual conversations, and will just start chatting with them regarding their cleints behavior on our property. (Not understanding their are appropriate/inappropriate things to share, and only certain staff should be sharing them).

Another issue would be poor boundaries with clients. Not understanding how to be staff, friendly yet professional, and not be drawn into the clients drama.

I have been using every staff meeting to cover these topics, and I feel I am getting nowhere....

Do any of you know of a resource I could use to help me train my staff? It can't be a full out training they attend as we dont have the resources. But I can purchase pretty much anything.

Have any of you ran into this yourself?


Asked by Nimue930 at 3:00 PM on Jan. 28, 2013 in Money & Work

Level 32 (56,725 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • Would it go under HIPPA guidelines? I worked in a similar situation before, I ran a unit in a non-profit organization designed to provide work & life skills to mentally ill adults. Mine was the clerical unit, they answered the agency's phones, made copies, wrote our newsletter, etc. And, they would occasionally give out info they shouldn't over the phone. So, I arranged for a person from HIPPA to come give a class to them.


    Answer by 3libras at 3:07 PM on Jan. 28, 2013

  • I had this exact same problem when I worked in a clinic on a reservation in the Midwest. What ultimately worked for me was two pronged:

    1. Small group meetings with mock scenarios. This was I was able to develop the scenarios that fit our organization like a glove. Otherwise, I would have spent a chunk of change on resources that I would have had to tailor to us, and

    2. Train the trainer - So, once we finished the mock scenarios (and this took a lot more than one meeting) I would chose 3 or 4 people to hold the next session. This was empowering and it gave my most eager employees a boost in morale. A secondary benefit was that often, these individual were much better able to get the point across to others because they were contemporaries.

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 5:16 PM on Jan. 28, 2013

  • yeah, that might work... we are bound by HIPPA... Let me look into that. Thanks...

    Comment by Nimue930 (original poster) at 3:42 PM on Jan. 28, 2013

  • I apologize for apparently no longer being able to speak anything more that rudimentary English lol

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 5:17 PM on Jan. 28, 2013

  • I would draft some policies and a confidentiality agreement that all staff are required to sign and adhere to. I have worked in this area zas an Administrator for 25 years and as a consultant on this very issue. Here is a sample

    Answer by booklover545 at 6:25 PM on Jan. 28, 2013

  • It's unfortunate that organizations like this will just "hire anyone' to do the job, because it's "cheap labor". I've been there, done that, and KNOW exactly how frustrating it is to try to educate on the job someone that doesn't have the comprehension of a banana.

    Answer by romanceparty4u at 12:05 PM on Feb. 2, 2013