What is Information & Referral?
Information & Referral (I&R) is the art, science and practice of bringing people and services together. I&R resource databases contain detailed descriptions of the programs and services provided by community, social, health, and government organizations.
Callers to Vermont 2-1-1 will speak with
“trained, empathetic I&R Specialists who assess their needs in a non-threatening, non-judgmental and confidential manner and help them understand their situations and make informed decisions about possible solutions. The I&R Specialist can, when necessary, assist people who are in crisis and emergency situations. I&R Specialists can also advocate on behalf of individuals who need additional support.”
From AIRS – Alliance of Information and Referral Systems
At Vermont 2-1-1, we can provide callers with much more than a phone number or the service hours of an agency. Our I&R Specialists follow an information and referral process that includes:
Gathering information through active listening
Determining the caller’s previous efforts
Problem solving in partnership with the caller
Matching resources with needs
Identifying potential barriers
Making appropriate referrals to services
Offering follow-up if appropriate
How we index an agency’s services
Vermont 2-1-1 uses the Alliance of Information & Referral Systems’ (www.airs.org) approved Taxonomy of Human Services, a standard indexing system used by human service information and referral organizations throughout the United States and Canada.