On August 21, 2013 I had the privilege to attend the Commission on Improving the Status of Children. The different agencies that attended presented what they saw as major issues for children in Indiana. One issue that came up repeatedly was communication between social services agencies in Indiana, and how that lack of communication can create service barriers for Indiana’s youth. This is an issue that I have seen come up before, despite my relatively short time working in social services.
Lack of communication between agencies can create serious service barriers to consumers. It is something that can affect delivery of services for people of all ages, not just youth. Overall it can have a debilitating effect on the morale of the consumer base that you are trying to serve. It can also interrupt other vital services. My previous practicum experience was working with military veterans coming out of homelessness. The number of appointments that those clients had per day could almost reach double digits. When combined with the fact that many of these agencies are located in different parts of the city and many clients rely on public transport, the situation becomes one of deciding which appointment is the most important, because that is the only one they can make. These were single adults, if you factor in having children who also require services; it becomes practically impossible to reach all of these appointments.
MCCOY’s advocacy for co-location of services is something that made me excited to be an intern here. A step like co-location, even though it may seem basic, can greatly improve the level and efficiency of service to consumers, which will in turn help improve their quality of life as well. I am looking forward to the opportunities that this practicum will bring.
You can find more information about MCCOY’s advocacy for colocation of services on their advocacy page here.