On April 24 & 25, 2013, I was the motivational speaker for the Department of Human Services Spring Showcase. Over 300 social service eligibility workers from across the state of North Dakota attended this event at the Seven Seas Inn in Mandan North Dakota.
Eligibility workers help people in need in their community to apply for assistance.
The conference theme was "Stronger Together- It Starts with Us!".
One of the major challenges this unique crowd faces is the use of complex and changing computer systems. Three of the major systems are TECF, Vision, and Natural.
Rules of each program vary depending on the program and eligibility requirements which are always changing. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (used to be the Food Stamps Program) is designed to help people in need to feed their families. The Department of Human Services also has a heat assistance program and a child care assistance program.
The eligibility staff may also help clients apply for Medicaid to get help paying for prescription drugs.
Many clients don't know resources are available or they wait until they're in dire straights and should have come in sooner. Thus many cases are urgent and clients are overwhelmed.
Determining eligibility and helping people in need can be very emotionally draining, especially when they can't help.
The other motivational speaker for the Department of Human Services Spring showcase is Kris Kuester with her motivational speech "Living With It".
I presented 4 concurrent break out sessions on the motivational speech, "I Love my Job- It's the People I Can't Stand" and the closing motivational speech the next day was "The Nerve to Serve... Say Hello to Humor and Goodbye to Burnout!"