Accessing crisis services
Current needs and sources of assistance are identified, and support given as appropriate.
When a client is in crisis, it is often a time where they need to access various services all at the same time. Consider the following scenario:
The following example would be appropriate where non-court-based intervention occurs.
The father in your client family has just been in a car accident and wrecked the family car which they are still paying off. He had been drink-driving and consequently has lost his licence, is facing a large fine, and the insurance company are not liable for the damage done to the car.
Because he has no licence, he has been laid off from work as a truck driver and the family's financial problems have become acute. Their electricity has been cut off and the family are destitute because Centrelink is still trying to resolve some over-payment issues relating to family payments. Their landlord has given them a Notice to Quit because they are in arrears with their rent and, in addition to this, their 13-year-old teenage son has been caught shoplifting for the third time and is due to face court this week.
The mother in this family is in a state of crisis and has come to your agency for support and assistance.
In this case the emergency needs of this family require your agency to access various services to assist this mother and family. These might include:
- emergency assistance agency, e.g. St Vincent De Paul for food vouchers, etc., to provide for the family's immediate sustenance needs
- contact with Centrelink to expedite the Job Start payments
- referral to a tenancy advocacy service to see if the tenancy can be salvaged to prevent the family from facing the upheaval of shifting house
- assistance to negotiate a payment plan with the electricity company to ensure electricity is reconnected
- support for the teenage son and the entire family to deal with the issues facing them.
You must decide which services your own agency can offer and how the referral processes will be made to the other services.
The client needs to control this process: their agreement and direction are required before any action can be taken.