Thursday, July 28, 2011

Resolution Supporting Information and Referral Services


This press release was published today from the one of the co-sponsors who introduced this legislation. You can help support all information and referral providers in the United States by calling your senator today and ask them to support bill number is SR 241.

UNITED STATES SENATOR ROBERT MENENDEZ
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday July 27, 2011

CONTACT:

Menendez Press Office 202-224-4744
Murray Press Office 202-224-2834
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Menendez and Murray Introduce Resolution Supporting Information and Referral Services
Resolution designates November 16, 2011 as “National Information and Referral Services Day”
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Patty Murray (D-WA) announced today that they are introducing a resolution designating November 16, 2011 as “National Information and Referral Services Day.” The resolution aims to raise public awareness and increase utilization of information and referral services.  For example,  calling 2-1-1 in many communities allows individuals who need critical health and human services, including food, shelter, health care, or counseling, to be referred to the appropriate community resource.
“Especially in this current economic crisis, information and referral services can be a lifeline to provide critical assistance to families across New Jersey and the nation,” said Senator Menendez. “I am proud to introduce this resolution to recognize their important role and encourage communities to promote these services.”
“Connecting families with information and referral services is so important, especially as so many of them continue to struggle to get the support they need in these tough economic times,” said Senator Patty Murray. “That’s why I have championed federal efforts to expand information and referral services across America. And I am proud to cosponsor this resolution with Senator Menendez to highlight the important role these critical  services play across the country.”
Resolution language is below.
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RESOLUTION
Expressing support for the designation of November 16, 2011, as National Information and Referral Services Day.

Whereas information and referral services link the consumer who has a need or problem with the most appropriate service to address that need or solve that problem;

Whereas quality information and referral services are the keystone point of entry to the entire human services structure delivery system;

Whereas information and referral services have been recognized in Federal legislation for more than 35 years since the 1973 reauthorization of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.), and the subsequent establishment of the national Eldercare Locator and the development of Aging and Disability Resource Centers;

Whereas, as of the date of agreement to this resolution, the United States is served by information and referral through 2-1-1 programs, aging information and referral services, Aging and Disability Resource Centers, child care resource and referral services, military family centers, and other specialty information and referral services;

Whereas individuals who understand the variety of services available are better equipped to make decisions;

Whereas, in 1997, the national 2-1-1 initiative began with the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta creating the first 24-hour telephone information and referral service using the easy-to-remember 2-1-1 dialing code for access;

Whereas, in 2000, the Federal Communications Commission reserved the 2-1-1 dialing code for community information and referral services, intended as an easy-to-remember and universally recognizable number that would serve as a vital connection between individuals and families in need, and appropriate community-based organizations and government agencies, on a regular basis and in times of disaster;

Whereas the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems has been providing professional standards and credentialing programs for those operating information and referral services;

Whereas expanding access to information about, and referrals to, services provides individuals with lower-cost and safer options for managing their needs, and is likely to reduce confusion, frustration, and inaccessibility to services; and

Whereas requests for assistance through information and referral services and 2-1-1 have increased across the United States due to the economic crisis: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) expresses support for the designation of November 16, 2011, as National Information and Referral Services Day—
(A) to raise public awareness about the existence and importance of information and referral services available to all people in the United States; and
(B) to more effectively target those services to reach individuals most in need;

(2) encourages activities in communities across the United States involving schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and other entities to ensure information and referral services are part of everyday life in addition to emergency preparedness programs; and

(3) reaffirms the importance of clear and consistent professional standards to govern every aspect of quality information and referral services.