Academic journal article et Cetera

New Routes to Human Services: Information and Referral

Academic journal article et Cetera

New Routes to Human Services: Information and Referral

Article excerpt

Risha W. Levinson. New Routes to Human Services: Information and Referral. New York: Springer, 2002.

The author of this well-researched and practically oriented book states, "Not knowing where to turn for information and help is a serious problem in the United States. The average citizen often incurs great difficulty in gaining access to needed services." Fortunately, there is a field, known as I & R (information and referral), that can help to remedy this problem.

Although the roots of I & R can be traced to the early social service organizations of the 18th century, I & R as an organizational entity has a brief history of slightly more than four decades - evolving from an interested group of dedicated volunteers to a growing corps of service providers reflecting all levels of staff.

Today the field of I & R is characterized by (a) a universal taxonomy-- which has created new opportunities to utilize a common language for the universal identification and classification of health and social services; (b) the utilization of modern information technology - shared databases have promoted a level of interorganizational cooperation and collaboration; (c) attainment of professionalism - by meeting required qualifications for professional practice, I & R providers can now attain professional certification with the designation Certified Information Referral Specialist (CIRS); and (d) the 211 universal telephone service - the approval of this service from the U. …

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