March is National Social Work Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the important role social workers play in supporting individuals, families, and communities. Social workers are professionals who are trained to help people overcome challenges and improve their well-being through a wide range of services, including counseling, case management, advocacy, and community outreach.
Social workers often find it challenging to connect their clients with the right resources and services to address their needs. They are frequently assisting clients with complex cases who require support from multiple providers and organizations. Fragmented systems make it difficult to navigate the complex network of community resources and services that are available. Fortunately, NCCARE360 is making it easier to send referrals for community resources and collaborate with other providers. Social workers can use the platform to quickly and easily refer clients to a wide range of services and resources, including housing assistance, food pantries, transportation services, mental health services, and more.
Because NCCARE360 has the ability to track referrals and outcomes, social workers can monitor the status of their referrals and see if their clients successfully accessed resources, helping to ensure their clients are receiving the support they need to improve their health and well-being. In addition to making referrals to community resources, NCCARE360 also facilitates communication and collaboration among providers. Social workers can use the platform to communicate with other providers and share information about their clients’ needs and progress. This can help ensure that all members of a client’s care team are working together to provide the best possible support.
This month, we are highlighting Leslie Craver, an incredible social worker who utilizes the NCCARE360 network daily to connect their clients to needed social supports and services.
Leslie Craver is a part-time Family Caregiver Specialist at The Life Center of Davidson County, an organization that provides high quality daytime care to older and impaired adults in Lexington, NC. Her interest in social work began in college and led her to a 30-year career with NC Department of Social Services, where she worked mainly in adult services. As a Home Adult Specialist, she monitored adult care homes and investigated any issues that arose in adult care. When it came time to retire, joining The Life Center was a natural fit for Leslie. At the same time, The Life Center was awarded a health equity grant from FHLI to increase their utilization of NCCARE360. Leslie trained on the platform and now uses NCARE360 to connect their residents to needed resources.
“I spent a lot of my time in DSS linking people to resources, so it wasn’t a big jump for me, just a different platform to do so.“ -Leslie Craver.
Leslie states NCCARE360 has helped expand her knowledge of resources not just in Davidson County but throughout the state, and she believes the next important step is helping other community organizations like The Life Center understand the value of the NCCARE360 program so they will be just as eager to join the network. “When you have multiple people come and go from different agencies, it’s a useful tool to not have to make a lot of phone calls. You can just look in the system and see all the places they’ve been and if they got help or not,” she said.
Not only does Leslie use NCCARE360 to connect The Life Center’s clients to resources, but she also makes visits to elderly people in the community who are unable to leave their homes and to the caregivers of those who cannot be left alone. She reaches out with food vouchers, PPE bags and other needed items, and she’s even provided some shopping for elder community members using those food vouchers. Then she enters those services in NCCARE360 and provides additional assessments for any other unmet needs that she can assist with.
“The Life Center is the best,” Leslie declared. “They do great work and tried to reach out even before NCCARE360, and this is just another way they are working to expand.”
National Social Work Month is an opportunity to recognize the important work that social workers do to support our communities. NCCARE360 is a useful tool that is helping them make referrals to community resources and collaborate with other providers to address the complex needs of their clients. By leveraging technology and working together, social workers can help ensure that everyone has access to the resources they need to thrive. NCCARE360 is grateful for the hard work and dedication of all social workers who help improve our communities.