Operating as a liaison between the needs and the resources, the Centre uses the telephone and email as its basic communication tools. The added value of the Centre is its wide knowledge of community resources and the priority given to a good analysis of the person’s situation in order to guide the caller to the best community organisation, keeping in mind that the Centre does not telephone directory but info-referral.
Step 1. In order to ascertain that our incoming lines are always free, a receptionist first handles the call and notes the name and telephone number of the client. A volunteer or a staff member returns the call within minutes. Urgent inquiries which cannot be dealt with, in the manner, are immediately transferred to a counsellor. A wide and specialized training of its personnel and a willingness to remain easily accessible enables the Centre to handle and complete all calls received in the quick and efficient manner typical of a referral service.
Step 2. The counsellor returns the call as quickly as possible. Each member of the staff must have a genuine interest and concern for people and a sympathetic and patient understanding of people’s needs as well as a sound judgment. Confidentiality is insured in all communications with the clients. In the course of the conversation with the client, the counsellor must, first and foremost, ascertain the exact nature of the request, obtain all pertinent information in view of a quick assessment of the problem as well as and the client’s attitude in using the resources suggested.
Step 3. The counsellor directs the client to the appropriate agency gives support and, if necessary, initiates the referral contact.