By Katie Hinerman Klug
Families face poverty for multiple reasons, and there is no single solution. Because of this, helping families get out of poverty is complicated. Telling people in poverty to make better decisions, and penalizing them when they don’t, is ineffective. At the same time, simply providing money to meet their basic needs is not a long-term solution either.
However, when supportive relationships are enhanced by information, resources and skill development, families have a much greater chance of improving their lives. This is what Catholic Charities West Virginia (CCWVa) provides through case management services.
Case management services help families improve their circumstances, become more self-sufficient and obtain financial independence. Case managers meet with individuals to identify strengths and weaknesses; individuals then set goals for themselves and regularly meet with their case manager to work on steps to meet those goals. Individuals’ progress is measured on a Goal Attainment Scale, which allows them to rate their level of functioning in a variety of areas, such as income, housing, employment, transportation and education.
Recently, a woman named Georgia arrived at CCWVa after finding herself alone with two children, no place to live, no job and little job experience. At first, she was distraught and felt that there was nothing she could do. One of CCWVa’s case managers, Kathie, began working with Georgia to set goals and prioritize action steps.
With Kathie’s support and guidance, Georgia has been able to obtain two part-time jobs and find housing for her family. She is now better able to handle challenges and work toward solutions. CCWVa case management services enable people to find their strengths and make changes they never thought possible.