One question can make a big difference…
Whether in a non-profit or a government agency, human service providers encounter service members, veterans, and military families, but they might not know it. Veterans do not always identify themselves. They can be proud and stoic, and tend to be more comfortable helping others than asking for help themselves – even when they need support. Military life can impact an individual or family in many ways that affect their access to different programs, services, and benefits. The best way to identify service members, veterans, and military families is to ASK!
When you are working with a new client applying for services, ask, "Have you or a family member ever served in the military?"
When The Answer Is "YES", you may consider thanking them for their service. You may also then be able to increase your understanding of their challenges and assist them in accessing the programs and services they need by asking further questions. This will also help you to:
Read a vignette about how Social Services providers can make a big difference!
Following are some questions that could be asked in the context of gathering information for more effective referrals and services. Pay attention to non-verbal cues, and show respect, curiosity, and empathy. Also be aware that responsiveness and effective follow-up are critical to building trust and rapport.
Portable Document Format (.pdf). Visit nh.gov for a list of free .pdf readers for a variety of operating systems.Click or touch each question to see additional information.