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CIRS-A Certification for Information and Referral Specialists

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Presentation on theme: "CIRS-A Certification for Information and Referral Specialists"— Presentation transcript:

1 CIRS-A Certification for Information and Referral Specialists
Examination Preparation Training Prepared by: Illinois Department on Aging

2 Certification is . . . A measurement of documented ability in the field of I&R … reflecting specific competencies and related performance criteria, which describe the knowledge, skills, attitudes and work-related behaviors needed by I&R practitioners to successfully execute their duties

3 Preparing for AIRS CIRS-A Overview of materials to study
Principles of the AIRS Certification Program History of Older Americans Act I&R Tenants/Bill of Rights, Philosophy of Aging I&R Professional Standards for Information and Referral ABC’s of I&R (preferably 2006 edition or later) CIRS-A Performance Based Competencies Information and Referral Models to Remember (an AIRS Journal article available from AIRS web site at History and Tenents will repeat when we review the CIRS-A Performance Based Competencies There is cross-over information in the Standards, ABCs and CIRS-A Performance Based Competencies We will move through repeats quickly This will be repeated in slide 16

4 For CIRS-A Examination:
I&R Systems/Services 10% of exam I&R Process 40% of exam Special Interventions 10% of exam Special Populations 10% of exam Aging Specific Information/Scenarios 30% of exam (all approximate)

5 The CIRS-A Exam - What to expect:
100 multiple choice questions with 4 options for each answer 75% correct to pass (varies slightly on each exam because of varying degrees of difficulty) Pass/Fail– no grade, no score Review questions Interactive training-review Easy as ANE, CCP and CCC tests You know most of the materials already!! We have sample questions and answers Answers to the ABCs are listed in the back of the manual The test will not be asking what does a certain # standard say The test shows your understand of the Standards, ABCs and Competencies, and skills and techniques

6 CRIS-A Materials and Handouts
PPT Outline AIRS Standards ABCs of I&R sections CIRS-A Competencies NASUA online study outline – (for outline only, not for review of web sites) Tenents Principles of Certification History of Older Americans Act I&R This is similar to learning CCP, CCC and Elder Abuse

7 What is AIRS? AIRS mission: “To provide leadership and support to its members and Affiliates to advance the capacity of a Standards-driven Information and Referral industry that brings people and services together."  (www.airs.org) This ppt is available on line

8 I&R and the Aging Network – AoA, NASUA, NAAAA
Administration on Aging funds: Eldercare Locator National Aging Information and Referral Support Center Annual Aging I&R Symposium-AIRS National Conference National AIRS Board of Directors Collaborated with AIRS to establish a specialized I&R Certification for the Aging Network This is helpful to understand how I&R relates to the Aging Network Remember that the largest amount of federal I&R funds are awarded to the Aging Network for 60 years and older adults and caregivers

9 Principles of the AIRS Certification Program
AIRS has prepared a four page handout summarizing certification for all candidates. Also the CIRS-A application, and study outlines are available at Please review the AIRS web site Your CIRS-A manual will provide most of the training information and study materials

10 History of Older Americans Act Information and Referral (CIRS-A)
1921 human service I&Rs More important in 1960s & 1970s Older Americans Act 1965 1973 – OAA mandated I&R – through AAAs 1990 – AoA launched its two-pronged National I&R Initiative: Eldercare Locator National I&R Support Center Expect one questions on the History of OOA I&R

11 Tenants I&R Bill of Rights Philosophy of Information and Referral
Main Functions of an Information and Referral Service Services for Older Adults and/or their Caregivers Services for the Community Expect one questions on the Tenants

12 AIRS Information & Referral Bill of Rights
Accurate and comprehensive information Anonymous and/or confidential Inquirer’s personal value system Respect and sensitivity Barrier-free access to information Self-determination Appropriate level of support in obtaining services Empowered to the extent possible Access most appropriate service in community Expect questions on values, self-determination, etc This will be clearly explained throughout the training, and SHL staff already understand these concepts and apply this in providing I&R service

13 Philosophy of Information & Referral
Understand inquirers situation Immediate and appropriate information, crisis emergency Empower not solve Help prioritize needs Help identify resources Do not overwhelm or provide too few options Advocate Follow up These are concepts that SHL staff are already applying

14 Main Functions of Information and Referral Service
Database Easy access Provide I&R for human services Problem solving assistance/advocacy Follow up Gaps for community planners, funding Develop cooperative relations (coordinated systems), integrated service delivery and education activities Expect a question on the above

15 We need to start with the Standards
AIRS Standards For Professional Information And Referral Version 5.2 Revised May, 2007 We need to start with the Standards To apply the relationship of the Standards to the skills and techniques of I&R Services The Standards are the foundation of AIRS accreditation And an excellent training tool! The Standards came first – this is the foundation and the concepts will be repeated throughout the materials to be studied Think about how the Standards relate to the skills and techniques

16 The Standards begin with:
Introduction Information and Referral Bill of Rights Philosophy of Information and Referral Please highlight important contents of the Standards as these are reviewed These concepts were discussed in slide 3

17 The Standards are grouped in six categories:
I. Service Delivery II. Resource Database III. Reports and Measures IV. Cooperative Relationships V. Organizational Requirements VI. Disaster Preparedness You will not be asked to name a standard by a number You will need to show you understand how the Standards apply

18 I. Service Delivery Standard 1: Information Provision
Standard 2: Referral Process Standard 3: Advocacy/ Intervention Standard 4: Crisis Intervention Standard 5: Follow-up Pages 2 – 6 summarize the standards and criteria We will refer to the actual standards beginning on page 7

19 II. Resource Database Standard 6: Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria
Standard 7: Data Elements Standard 8: Classification System (Taxonomy) Standard 9: Indexing the Resource Database/Search Methods Standard 10: Database Maintenance

20 III. Reports and Measures
Standard 11: Inquirer Data Collection Standard 12: Data Analysis and Reporting

21 IV. Cooperative Relationships
Standard 13: Cooperative Relationships within the Local I&R System Standard 14: Cooperative Relationships within the Local Service Delivery System Standard 15: Cooperative Relationships Among Local, State or Provincial, Regional, National, and International I&R Providers Standard 16: Participation in State or Provincial, Regional, National, and International I&R Associations

22 V. Organizational Requirements
Standard 17: Governance Standard 18: Personnel Administration Standard 19: Staff Training Standard 20: Promotion and Outreach

23 VI. Disaster Preparedness
Standard 21: Emergency Operations and Business Contingency Plan Standard 22: Pre- and Post-Disaster Database Standard 24: Disaster-Related I&R Service Delivery

24 VI. Disaster Preparedness
Standard 25: Disaster-Related Inquirer Data Collection/Reports Standard 26: Disaster-Related Technology Requirements Standard 27: Disaster Training and Exercise (These are the newest Standards)

25 Wrap-up- I&R Professional Standards
The Standards are an excellent training tool How do the Standards relate to each chapter of the ABC’? How do the Standards relate to CIRS-A Competencies? What do the Standards say as we review all of the training materials?

26 ABCs Of I&R – Methodology for the 21 sections
Learning concepts and objectives Section components Introductory exercises What the AIRS Standards say What you need to know Sample Test Questions

27 The Nature of Information and Referral
What is I&R? What are the I&R Standards? Roles of an I&R Characteristics of an I&R Information and Referral Bill of Rights Principles of Information and Referral

28 Section 2: From Greeting to Closure – The I&R Process
Overview of the 5 main stages of the I&R process Contact Assessment Clarification Information and Referral Giving Closure

29 Section 3: Empowerment and Advocacy
Individual advocacy When to advocate Examples of advocacy System advocacy

30 Section 4: Follow-up Follow-up Reasons for follow-up
Types of follow-up Follow-up outcomes Follow-up methods and processes Outline for potential follow-up

31 Section 5: Crisis Intervention
Role of I&R in a crisis Handling an immediate crisis Types of crises Defusing and handling a crisis situation Elements of a suicide risk assessment

32 Section 6: Confidentiality
Confidentiality in I&R Explicit permission Reporting of abuse Confidentiality and endangerment Relevance of information

33 Section 7: Values, Self-Awareness and Self-Determination
Values and perceptions Self-awareness Self-determination Withholding judgment

34 Section 8: Responding Effectively to “Challenging” Inquirers
Challenging people Techniques to defuse anger Mental health calls and “constant callers” Setting boundaries Face-to-face interviews

35 Section 9: Using the Resource Database for I&R Referrals
Nature of a resource database Structure of a resource database Searching a resource database Sharing information with inquirers Additional considerations when working with resource databases Other information resources

36 Section 10: Special Populations-Serving Diverse Communities
The meaning of diversity Diversity awareness Serving people from diverse communities

37 Section 11: Special Populations- Serving People with Addictions
Characteristics of substance abuse Alcoholism and drug addictions Effects of addictions on families Referral options for people with addictions Methadone maintenance Concurrent disorders, co-occurring disorders and dual diagnosis Problem gambling/gambling addictions

38 Section 12: Specials Populations-Serving Older Adults
Definitions of “older” and “elderly” The aging process Overcoming barriers to communications Specific services for older adults Elder abuse

39 Section 13: Special Populations-Serving Young People
Youth issues At-risk youth Runaway youth Emancipation

40 Section 14: Special Populations-Serving People with Mental Illness
Nature and types of mental illnesses Depression Bipolar disorder Schizophrenia Anxiety disorders Services available for people with mental illnesses Communicating with people concerning mental illness Consumer/survivors

41 Section 15: Special Populations-Serving Military Personnel and their Families
Needs of military personnel and their families Deployment issues Emotional cycle of separation Basic structure of military family support services

42 Section 17: Resource Database-Overview
Function and contents of an I&R resource database Database users Database products Functions of a Resource Specialist Skills of a Resource Specialist

43 Section 18: Resource Database-Inclusion and Exclusion Policy
Nature of inclusion and exclusion criteria Advantages of having a formally documented inclusion/exclusion policy Inclusion Exclusion The gray areas Managing the inclusion/exclusion policy

44 Section 19: Resource Database-Data Structure
Structure of a resource database Organizations, sites and services/programs Primary and secondary services AIRS mandatory, recommended and optional data elements Types of data elements Advantages of a style guide.

45 Section 20: Resource Database-Classification Systems and Taxonomy
Organizing and indexing resource databases Indexing by organization name Indexing by geographic area Service indexing Structure and strengths of the AIRS/INFO LINE Taxonomy Basic principles of Taxonomy indexing Customizing the Taxonomy Keyword lists

46 Section 21: Resource Database-Database Maintenance
Data maintenance standards Annual updating processes Interim updating processes Gathering information on a new agency Managing the updating process Database security

47 Summary of ABCs, Introduction to the CIRS-A Competencies
The ABC’s incorporates the I&R Standards with skills, techniques procedures and provides the formal language and structure of I&R The CIRS-A Competencies combines both the I&R Standards and the ABC’s with knowledge of services for older adults The National I&R Support Center expanded the CIRS Competencies with an Aging Specialty

48 CRIS-A Study Guide Tenents of I&R Older Americans Act I&R AIRS Mission
Philosophy of I&A I&R Bill of Rights Main Functions for I&R Services Services for older adults and their caregivers Services for the community

49 CRIS-A Study Guide B. Demonstrated I&R skills and abilities
A. General knowledge of I&A B. Demonstrated I&R skills and abilities C. Attitudes and work related behaviors for the Aging Network

50 3. Federal Laws & Programs 4. Elder Rights & Resources
Online Resource Guide for Developing Aging Competence for I&R/A Specialists (17 Chapters) (page 1 of 2) 1. Aging 2. Aging Network 3. Federal Laws & Programs 4. Elder Rights & Resources 5. Employment & Older Workers 6. Family Caregiving & Kinship 7. Health Care & Aging 8. Health Promotion/ disease prevention

51 NASUA – Online Resource Guide continued (page 2 of 2)
9. Home & Community Based Services 10. Income Security/Retirement 11. Long Term Care/Nursing Homes 12. Mental Health & Aging 13. Multicultural Aging 14. Nutrition 15. Older volunteers 16. Senior Housing Options 17. Transportation & Mobility

52 Information and Assistance Skills Building
The Information & Referral Interview: Models to Remember Norman L. Maas Two Basic Models Basic advice on how to approach the referral interview Basic principles for the crisis intervention model for I&R provision And an overview of active listening

53 What goes into interviewing?
The counseling model for the referral interview Understanding people How we are all different The importance of feelings Feelings in times of upset and change The mix of feelings Learning to know yourself The importance of each person

54 The importance of each person
Will come through with the. . . Attentiveness with which you listen Sensitivity with which you ask questions Respect with which you treat confidence Restraint you use in imposing your views on others Care you take to avoid disappointments and ill-founded statement and promises

55 What takes place in an interview?
At the beginning– discomfort Putting fears to rest Information giving: a few general comments Knowing enough about the person’s problem A person’s right not to tell you everything Knowing the resource file

56 What takes place in an interview?
Letting people tell you in their own way: good listening pays off Giving information that is useful and relevant to the person Making sure people understand When people get angry Ending the interview

57 A Counseling Model for Information and Referral Provision
(Based on Gerald Caplan’s work) Stage I: Define problem, develop relationship and trust Stage II: Clarification of the problem Stage III: Establish contact Stage IV: Exploration of referrals Stage V: Discuss referrals and alternatives State VI: Terminating contact

58 Basic Helping Skills Confronting Attitude Attending Reflecting
Paraphrasing Reflecting feelings Summarizing Focusing Questioning

59 The referral process Resource Ring 1. What has client tried so far?
Interaction between two people considering involvement of a third party Resource Ring 1. What has client tried so far? 2. What else thought of doing? 3. Assistance from family - friends? 4. Happened before? How handled then?

60 The Resource Ring Frustration Rejection Guilt Anxiety Special fears
Feelings of the client Frustration Rejection Guilt Anxiety Special fears

61 Basic principles in making a referral (page 1 of 2)
1. Let client describe problem-feelings Clarify, move slowly 2. Gather information needed 3. Decide upon referral, discuss with staff 4. Avoid confusing client (1 or 2 referrals) 5. Do not discuss another agency’s fees

62 Basic principles in making a referral (page 2 of 2)
Encourage caller to take initiative Have client write down information Give caller realistic information-limits Counseling referral Client may refuse counseling referral

63 Six steps I&R defined 1. Define problem, develop relationship,
and trust 2. Clarify the problem 3. Establish contact 4. Explore referrals 5. Discuss referrals 6. Terminate contact

64 From Common Ground Crisis Center 10 reasons for failures in communication
1. Pre-judgment 2. Jump to conclusions 3. Assume 4. Closed mind 5. Lack of attention 6. Wishful hearing 7. Different meanings 8. Talk too much 9. Lack empathy 10. Fear

65 You are now ready Thanks for your hard work
We know you will do well on the CIRS-A exam Please complete the training evaluation

66 Good I&A is performed by people who:
1. View the client with respect and dignity 2. Believe in self help 3. Work from good referral models 4. Take the time to find out what the client really is trying to resolve and help them explore ways to resolve or address their real problems (Refer to page 53)

67 Active Listening Four cornerstones Listening to feelings
Giving feedback Being non-judgmental Developing empathy

68 Incorporate 8 specific Active Listening Skills
Emotional labeling Reflecting Paraphrasing Effective pause Open-ended questions “I” message Consensual Validation

69 Patience and other noble qualities
Some helpful phrases Pages Some good open-ended questions “I” message from-- “I” feel (emotion) when you (behave) because (reason) Values Clarification (clarifying responses) Good termination statements For “normal” callers For “manipulative” callers For “abusive or angry” callers

70 Ten Basic Rules for Good I&A Listening (Page 53)
Don’t be judgmental Don’t give personal information to callers Don’t talk about I&A calls or callers outside of I&A Don’t accept responsibility for a caller’s Action Don’t do anything for callers that they can do for themselves

71 Ten Basic Rules for Good I&A Listening continued (Page 53)
Don’t hesitate to set firm limits on callers when it is needed Don’t leave the I&A room upset by a call or a caller - talk it out with designated staff Do terminate immediately when it is called for DO NOT use active listening skill on every call Do use the staff as your support system

72 10 Most Often Overlooked Benefits Make sure callers know about all services
Medicaid Food Stamps Pharmacy Assistance Property Tax Relief Veterans Benefits Health Insurance Counseling State Veterans Benefits Weatherization Nutrition Services SSI

73 Thanks for participating
All the materials needed for the CIRS-A exam have been reviewed and you are now ready for the CIRS-A certification exam. Thanks for the hard work.


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