Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from New Brunswick and Manitoba.
As so many services and regulations change, no one can know everything, not even a 211 Service Navigator! When Service Navigators do not know the answer to a question, they will not pretend that they do. Instead, they will find the answer or direct a client to someone who can help. That is why 211 is a trusted resource for so many people.
A 211 Service Navigator took a call from a woman living in rural New Brunswick who was preparing to welcome a Ukrainian family into her home. She was wondering where this family could have a medical examination done for immigration and at what cost.
Since the Service Navigator was not able to find the information right away, she offered a follow-up call, so that she could contact a few agencies and find out the proper information. The caller accepted, so the Service Navigator contacted a nearby settlement agency. The staff there provided the Service Navigator with an Internet link for a panel of physicians that could complete the needed medical examination in New Brunswick for newcomers.
She contacted the caller once she had received the list of the physicians that could do these medical examinations for newcomers. She shared the link with her over the phone, and the caller wrote it down. The caller was able to go on the Internet herself and see which physicians could do a medical examination for the Ukrainian family in her area. She was advised to contact each physician directly regarding the cost of the medical examination. She was also told about the services of the settlement agency nearest her home. The Service Navigator encouraged the caller to contact 211 again if she or the family she was assisting had any questions about services in the community.
211 Service Navigators create a rapport with callers, so that they feel comfortable bringing up all of their concerns. Often, the need that callers mention first, is not the most important or pressing for them. It can take some time and trust to talk about all of the issues that a caller is facing. Service Navigators will respond to all of the needs expressed in a non-judgmental and caring manner.
A 211 Service Navigator took a call from a male senior in Winnipeg who started the conversation by saying he needed to find a free tax clinic. The discussion transitioned to an even larger need for finding affordable and/or subsidized housing, and housing search assistance.
The Service Navigator found the caller some options for the initial request regarding tax preparation help. He made sure that the caller had all the appropriate information on how to apply and contact the agencies for tax assistance.
The Service Navigator brainstormed with the caller and probed for more information about his housing situation in order to arrive at referrals for the housing issue. He provided explanations to the caller regarding the subsidized housing system and how it works, as the caller was a little confused about that. He gave some referrals that would help the caller find housing in his price range. The caller felt able to contact the agencies himself, so the Service Navigator reminded him that he could call 211 again if he needed more help or referrals.