Thursday, December 14, 2006

Why it's important to make that call yourself

I just received an SMS from a volunteer about calling her TC officer. I have never spoken with this officer before and I know that she has. However she asked me to pass a message to him.

There are a few reasons it's important that the caregiver make the call wherever possible. Firstly it's very important to make and maintain contact with the officer yourself. This will make it easier should the officer want to contact you with regards to any information. The friendlier relationship you have, the more likely it is that the officer will call you. Furthermore, the caregiver is a resident and that counts for a LOT - not someone from CWS who does not live in the area.

Secondly, it is good for the officer to be able to contact you directly. There may be some delay in my being able to get hold of the caregiver. Sometimes I'm not even sure whom the caregiver is, or I may not be able to find their number. Again, if the officer is able to pass the information to you in the most direct fashion, that would be great.

Thirdly, the caregiver has the information directly. For example, this caregiver has asked him to pass information about something she saw and wants done. As she is the one who has seen it, it is best if she is able to give the information directly. If the officer asks him something which I do not know, I need to call the caregiver again and this can go back and forth (which has happened). The direct route is the best. In addition, the caregiver is most aware of the situation on the ground and can give the most detailed and knowledgeable information?

When should you NOT call? If for example, you know you will lose your temper and yell at the officer. If the caregiver is worried about language problems, there will be an officer who can definitely speak to the caregiver in their language or dialect - and the caregiver can always ask to speak to someone who does speak the caregiver's language.

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