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My question is then when do we say enough is enough. We have helped the client once. He comes back again asking for say $10 claiming that he has no food. We get suspicious but we give him the benefit of the doubt. We provide some intervention and help him improve his condition but he comes again asking for money saying that he needs time to find a job so give him some money first. When should we start working on our suspicion. Can we allow him to depend on us to provide him with assistance every time he needs help?


Taking a critical or ivestigative stance on a clients case isn't all that bad. But for the amounts of SGD$10 - SGD$20 letting them have the benefit of the doubt should'nt be too difficult, right? Lets be realistic about expenses. How long can that last? Given the modern economy which has been pretty much been "set in stone", if the client is looking for a job and is homeless that amount would at best provide the client a days relief and would serve his transport and food costs which is still morally a merit.

Naturally henceforth the client will return for more once its exhausted. In sincere cases I don't think its juvenile for them to do so, I'd say its conditioning more than anything else "Pavlovian" if you like. The boiling point would probably be how deep and accurate the client needs assesment truly is. Is it near absolute? Or then can the conclusion be verified by other means ? If the clients problem is sincere and returns for more monetary help its not baffling to figure out that the equation to the solution of the problem is not met. Surely, the chicken and egg genesis..

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Shan, that's a very good point, and in fact always a challenging aspect in trying to negotiate between giving clients the benefit of the doubt vs ensuring that dependency is not inculcated. As Dragon pointed out, probably the fact that client keeps on coming for assistance, is probably a sign of deep seated financial issues , and the fact that they probably need the money.

I've no easy answer, but we need to be responsible when rendering assistance to engage and assess client's situation from the first moment it is provided.

For e.g. with the $10 mentioned earlier, some small contract may be agreed between worker and client, so that the worker would be able to engage the client and further assess client's condition, and come to clear working goals for intervention. In the meantime, worker would need to assess carefully whether client has other sources of support, through close collaboration with other agencies.

But the challenge is this: even if clients are unable to follow through an intervention plan, do we stop assistance on the basis of that? Because once assistance is stopped, client would still be in need if he has no other resources to turn to.

Perhaps its time to look into incremental changes instead of immediate job seeking and independence.

Dragon, there's a part in your blog about how much it actually takes to find a job; and I think that this is the reality, and sometimes some income is needed to kickstart the job seeking process.

Thats true fareez, do we stop assistance? I think its might not possibly be a question of bad character or anything negative on the clients part if he is unable to follow true but possibly one of character complexity. Like for e.g. some are more shy than others who are outspoken. Thus, if he faces an obstacle in a job interview or in a job itself he might not know how to deal with things and ends up quiting and starting in square one. This may open another door, job suitability maybe. There's not much use in enforcing an intervention plan or a job on a client unless he is willing. In view of a job I think that could be acertained thorugh his work history. However yes, incremental changes sounds good.

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