CLASSIFICATION NO. 233
INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SPECIALIST 2
Under direction, to research, compile, maintain and provide information to promote access to a variety of services available through local agencies and programs; to make referrals to specific agencies or programs; to coordinate specific program services; to provide training to service providers and volunteers; and to do other work as required.
The Social Services Division within the Department of Human Services offers assistance to the County’s low income, elderly and disabled residents through the Community Action Agency (CAA) and the Area Agency on Aging (AAA). The CAA program deals with energy assistance, emergency housing, rental assistance, landlord-tenant issues, and volunteer services programs. The AAA program provides case management services and contracts with senior centers to provide services to elderly residents.
The information and referral series is designed to promote public access to a variety of services available through local agencies and programs. The information and referral specialists research and compile information on community resources and respond to diverse requests for information. The Information and Referral Specialist 2 is the journey level classification which independently links people with needs of diverse backgrounds and cultures to agencies and services available to meet those needs and also provides assistance to various agencies. The Information and Referral Specialist 2 is responsible for coordinating specific program services such as providing Information and Referral services to target populations or developing and implementing new data base management systems. Incumbents may act as lead worker providing technical assistance to department personnel.
The Information and Referral Specialist 2 differs from the Information and Referral Specialist 1 which performs general information and referral activities. It differs from eligibility specialist which performs eligibility screening, ongoing eligibility determination and provides referrals for a wide variety of assistance programs.
Duties may include but are not limited to the following:
- Responds to in-person and telephone inquires from individuals, businesses and agencies requesting information on community resources; assesses needs, assists with problem solving, provides eligibility screening for limited, targeted programs; provides information and refers clients and general public to appropriate public or private service providers; follows up on individual referrals to ensure contact with compatible programs; provides advocacy for individuals who have difficulty obtaining services; provides intensive Information and Referral services to target groups or specific clients with complex needs.
- Updates information on existing resources by contacting organizations by telephone or mail; assists in developing information on potential resources by monitoring newspapers, newsletters, brochures and other sources; informs staff and other agencies of changes or new services.
- Provides ongoing training to service providers and volunteers; explains policies and procedures of information and referral programs; demonstrates the use of reference files, data bases and manuals; develops training and promotional materials.
- Records and compiles data on the nature and quantity of inquires and referrals; reviews and compiles data reports submitted by network service providers; prepares regular and special statistical reports; completes required forms and performs data entry to track client intake and referrals.
- Develops and maintains specific resource files, indexes, manuals and guide books; participates in the development, maintenance and use of a multi-level computerized resource database system; research and update current information on each agency’s services through a review of available materials, current rolodex entries, and interviews with agency personnel; writes database entries in a multi-screen format; classifies agencies using a taxonomy of terms; conducts database search and records call transaction using the resource database system; produces reports using the resource database.
- Promotes interagency cooperation and information sharing through contact with various agencies and community and business groups; facilitates networking meetings and publicizes professional meetings; schedules speakers and facilities; may attend public meetings to explain the function of information and referral services; responds to requests for informational presentations on available services.
- May act as lead worker supervising office operations; provides technical assistance and training staff; develops staff schedules to ensure adequate clientele phone and walk-in coverage; may serve as the information and referral liaison for projects and committees as assigned.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
Working knowledge of: Public and private social service agencies and community resources, their requirements, protocols, rules and regulations; policies and objectives of information and referral programs; human behavior, psychological stresses created by a lack of economic resources on an individual’s ability to secure needed services; principles and techniques of interpersonal and public relations; basic record keeping procedures and techniques; office procedures, practices and equipment including personal computing and related software; techniques of data collection and data base management; general office practices and procedures; principles of cultural sensitivity; basic techniques of supervision.
Skill to: Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing with clients, professional staff and the general public; relate to a wide variety of people with diverse needs, social, economic and cultural backgrounds; interview individuals to identify and assess problems; determine appropriate referrals to agencies or programs able to meet identified needs; establish and maintain effective working relationships with public and private agencies to promote cooperation and information sharing; organize and facilitate meetings; maintain accurate records, complete basic forms and perform data entry; lead the work of others; use complex taxonomy system to categorize data; use computerized Information and Referral program to record client calls, access relevant data, build and update database; compile reports or directories; utilize basic computer applications such as electronic mail and word processing programs; attend to precise detail and organize work load.
Some positions require verbal and written proficiency in a second language.
Must successfully pass a criminal history check which may include national or state fingerprint records check.
Must pass a pre-employment drug test.
Driving may be necessary for County business. For position(s) with occasional/incidental driving, incumbents must possess a valid driver's license. Accommodation requests for an acceptable alternative method of transportation will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation. For position(s) with regular driving, incumbent(s) must also possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.
MINIMUM RECRUITING STANDARDS
Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.
Information and Referral Specialist 1 incumbents may be promoted to open Information and Referral Specialist 2 positions. Promotional readiness must be documented by approved promotional evaluation. Promotional readiness requires a minimum of one year of experience and two satisfactory performance appraisals as an Information and Referral Specialist 1.