Integrity has many people who are vital to its success as a nonprofit. One group, however, assists clients in a more personal way. The Intake and Case Management Specialists have the unique opportunity of being with clients throughout the whole process of their time with Integrity.
The client begins their journey by registering via Integrity or Westside Works' website. Once they have registered, Recruitment Specialist Arlene Bowles contacts them and informs them about orientation. Attending Orientation is mandatory for all clients and is an important part of the process. At the beginning of Orientation day the clients are required to take the Westside Connection which provides demographics and personal information. They also are required to take a Career Assessment Test to determine which career path is most suitable for them.
During Orientation, which is administered by Director of Intake Services Rosemerry Redd, the clients learn about all of the beneficial programs and services that Integrity and Westside Works offers. Each item is explained thoroughly, ensuring the clients know about programs that are offered. The the clients are given the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE) which is administered by Intake Specialist and Career Advisor, Teshauna Hambrick. The TABE is used to assess their abilities and to aid in recommending a program that would suit the clients' needs. When orientation is complete, the clients are assigned to a specific case manager and appointments are booked for each individual.
Once the clients leave Orientation, the TABE tests are graded and the results are entered into Salesforce. This allows for each client to have a complete profile on file to help ensure their success and reduce attrition rates. The day after Orientation, the individual meetings begin with either Teshauna or fellow Intake Specialist and Career Advisor Judy McDaniel. This meeting is an essential step for the client. The Intake Specialist works with them to determine the correct career path which involves discussing what needs to be done to move forward with their training. "The goal is to help them find a career and not just to get certified. The younger clients especially don't have any idea what they want to do so we have to help them," Teshauna says. It is during this meeting that the client, along with input from the Intake Specialist, decides on what training program they want to enroll in.
The clients then move on to their respective training programs to pursue the skill set that will help them get a job. The case manager's job is still not finished at this point. They are responsible for following up with clients while they are in the program. "We are really part of the main support system for our clients. Some of them don't have family or friends to guide them through so it's up to us," Judy says. Upon successful completion of the program, the client attends graduation. Most of Integrity's staff tries to attend these ceremonies. "It's exciting to see because a lot of them have never graduated from anything before so it's a big accomplishment for them. It makes you feel good to be a part of it," Teshauna says. Once the client graduates, the case managers do another follow up call to see how they are doing. After graduation, the focus shifts to helping the client to find a job utilizing their newly learned skills as well as providing additional support that they may need.
The case managers and intake specialists accompany clients on their journey from orientation to graduation and beyond. "The best part of this job is when I can see the change that is made in the client's life. A lot of times they come in broken and I can see the progress they've made as they reach their goals. That makes me feel like I'm doing the right thing," Judy says smiling. Integrity and its case managers are committed to helping the Westside one client at a time.