Information & Referral/Assistance (I&R/A) is the art, science, and practice of bringing people and services together. The Aging and Disability Resource Center of San Benito County (ADRC) takes great pride in the I&R/A which it provides to San Benito County residents and families. When individuals, families, and communities have questions about where to get the human service supports they need - - home care, assisted transportation, affordable housing, food, adaptive equipment, or a caregiver support group, just to name a few - - trained I&R/A staff are ready to provide help.
I&R/A services are also delivered through ADRC partner organizations and can be comprehensive in nature, serving everyone within a geographic community; or specialized, serving a particular target population (i.e., older adults and people with disabilities). I&R/A services work with individuals, facilitate community planning by tracking requests for services and identifying gaps and duplications in services, and work with other human services organizations to make them a more effective resource for those they serve.
Professional I&R/A specialists help people better understand their needs and challenges, and provide people with a range of options to assist them in making the most informed decision. Specialists may advocate on behalf of those who need special support, and encourage self-reliance and empowerment of individuals through education, affirmation, collaborative planning and problem solving.
Examples of I&R/A services include information giving; appropriate service referral; advocacy on behalf of an individual; crisis intervention; conducting follow-up contacts; maintaining an accurate and up-to-date community resource database; data collection, analysis and reporting to measure the service needs of a community; developing cooperative community programming; community outreach; and emergency preparedness and disaster response.
Aging and Disability Resource Connection networks are comprised of several different agency types that provide and coordinate services for older adults, individuals with disabilities, and their caregivers, including but not limited to: state agencies on aging and disability (state agencies), Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs), 2-1-1 Call Centers (2-1-1s), Centers for Independent Living (CILs), and other non-profit human service organizations.
Each organization type follows policies and procedures for delivering I&R/A services through a semi-structured, person-centered interview process that supports and empowers peoples’ access to health and social support services. Although the delivery of I&R/A services varies slightly from organization to organization, all ADRC partners strive to link people with quality services, to empower individuals to make their own decisions, and to assist people in living as independently as possible within their communities.