Champion the cause; Part 2

lol Well in the beginning I thought we were championing the pilot for Orientation but turns out we are not. We are the champions of Pilot #2. Evaluation of the role the “contact person” plays here @ Connections. We had some pretty good discussion this morning around process, responsibilities, execution of role in a reactive and proactive way.

Lachie (Connections Employment Worker & Co-Champion) and I evaluated the framework of contact roles in a University setting. Specifically Saint Mary’s University and Dalhousie University. I found the Saint Mary’s info to be much more comprehensive and the position of Resident Coordinator to be most similar to our present contact person position.

This little excerpt in particular; “Residence Coordinator (RC) serves as mentor, administrators and community advisers. RC’s identify student and community needs and then develop programs designed to address those needs. RC’s also foster a positive living-learning environment conducive to the academic goals of the university and promote responsible behavior among residents (including intervention and follow-up with individuals experiencing behavioral / disciplinary issues or other personal challenges)

Our contact persons here perform mostly all these duties with the exception of “RC’s also participate in an after-hours on-call system throughout the academic year” … Here is where I brought forth the thought that when connections closes @ the end of the day or on the weekends my need for support doesn’t end. I go forth into the community with very little guidance on a very constrained budget and no clue where I can go and what I can do to stay engaged. Also is my contact person aware of this and does someone still care about my needs and my condition of wellness outside of the walls of connections.

I followed my thought up with a small example; A couple weeks ago Mike called me to inquire about an appointment I was missing. This is the 1st time I have ever had anyone contact me from the system to find out what was going on for me that I wasn’t there ready to attend my appointment.

5 Yrs ago I dropped off the grid and moved to Toronto and not a single one of the near dozen people involved in my care made an effort to find out where I was and what was going on. I just dropped off the grid into the void and no one missed me. The system since then has improved a lot and there has been a certain seamless procedure adopted that I have hugely benefited from since I’ve moved back here to Halifax.

In overview I have some new information to look over, some actual documentation regarding the role of contact persons. The mission now is to construct a new concise list of roles/responsibilities to be written and vetted by yours truly.

There was also some quick discussion around support roles for the contact person. In most of the comparison roles we used as examples there were always support roles. A second tier of people assisting the RC or in our situation Contact person.

It seems as tho here they use almost like a handshake system. All contact persons touch base from time to time. In these little handshake meetings they exchange info about how members are doing and relay any important information about crisis ect.

It’s comforting to know that things have some built in under the hood functionality but it would be nice to have a little more transparency around that system.


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