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Importance of Collecting Data

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Importance of Collecting Data
BSHS 405
September 14, 2015
Paula Krasselt

Importance of Collecting Data
The first line of contact, in most human service centers, are intake evaluators on the phone or in person. The intake evaluator is the employee or volunteer that gives the first impression to the client of the entire organization. It is a primary role in a case manager’s position. The ability to collect a potential client’s information in an accurate, thorough, yet efficient way is important to ensure that the client’s case is handled competently from the onset of contact. Often, clients are in a crisis. Time is of the essence to ease their stress levels and help them regain control of their lives and environment (Summers, 2012).
Communication, not just verbal, but written communication and listening skills are important for the position of an intake evaluator. The skilled evaluator can quickly establish a good rapport with the client and draw them out. Asking leading and open questions will allow the client to give the information that is important to them while also giving a clear picture of the current situation. Asking questions in the correct way will allow us to know why the client is calling today. Asking the same question differently is an excellent way to verify information that has been relayed by the client and will often pull more information from the client. Observation skills, along with empathy can also aid a worker in hearing the tone and distress level of a client. Finally, an intake evaluator needs to be able to ascertain quickly, “What am I not hearing?” These skills are essential to be a competent case manager (Summers, 2012)..
An accurate and concise intake will allow the organization to help the client efficiently and effectively. The accuracy of an intake is vital. However, it is just as important that the intake evaluator empathizes with the client. Information that is missing or incomplete will cost valuable time to the organization and the client. An inaccurate evaluation could be the cause of a client not receiving the services that are needed or not receiving services as quickly as they need. In some cases the cost of this time can be a matter of life or death (Summers, 2012).

References
Summers, N. (2012). Fundamentals of case management practice: Skills for the human services (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning

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