I have spent a majority of my time this week and last week drafting the findings from our phone interviews with Siemer-funded partners across the US. First off, the case workers and financial coaches on the ground are truly amazing people. They work tirelessly to help adults and children both inside and outside of their program. Without a formal background in working in social services or financial education, I assumed a lot of the work revolved around meeting with families and connecting them to local services. However, our phone calls and a short service we created showed us that case workers and financial coaches do so much more.
While the yellow bar in the graph above clear shows that direct service providers spend most of their time meeting one-on-one with families, they also spend a tone of time doing paper work, taking notes on families, and collecting data on their progress; recruiting new families and community outreach; screening and assessing new families; searching for services; managing and making service referrals for families; and referring community services to families that are not a good fit for Siemer’s programs. Their jobs require A LOT.
The exciting take away from these findings is that it gives the Siemer Institute valuable insight into what is a reasonable caseload per region. By understanding their weekly duties, the Siemer Institute can work within its network to meet the needs of their 50 partners. Simply put, the staff have a lot on their plate; they work hard to serve as many families as possible. The familiarity with the staff’s actual day-to-day realities gives Siemer the power to pinpoint opportunities for improvement and collaboration.
As for me, I have gained a deep appreciation for the work these service providers do. They are inspiring and I have received so much enjoyment in speaking with them. Case manager and coaches give me hope that helping individual families can enact wider-spread change.