In each Agency's Settings, the option is included for Agency Workers and Agency Reps from that agency to submit requests for multiple families rather than just one individual family. This setting is defaulted to "Off" but may be turned on in partnership with the local network leader(s) to consider what the impact of these additional types of requests might have on the ability for the local network to meet these larger requests.
Requesting Agency Leaders & Workers; Local Network Leaders
Included in This Article
- When (and When Not) to Use Multi-Family Requests
- What's Different About Multi-Family Requests?
- Agency Best Practices for Multi-Family Requests
When (and When Not) to Use Multi-Family Requests
A request should be identified as Multi-Family when an agency worker would like to invite broad participation in a collections drive of a specific list of items that can be used by the agency to serve multiple families over time or across a large region, such as coats, blankets, beds/bedding, school supplies, shoes, etc.
A request should not be identified as Multi-Family if an agency worker has simply identified that two or three specific families on their caseload have a similar type of need for a specific item, such as a bed or crib. In these cases, these items should be entered on separate requests for each family to give the opportunity for the family's local community to respond and help.
What's Different About Multi-Family Requests?
When the Multi-Family request setting is enabled, a simple checkbox will appear at the beginning of the process of entering a request, asking if the request would serve multiple families.
When checked, the remaining process of entering the details of this request will include a "Special Instructions" field, as shown below.
The information included in this Special Instructions field will be added to the bottom of the public request description. This represents a chance for the worker to explain the general collection plan for the items requested will happen, which will be visible to all potential responders, reducing the need to share these logistics with each responder who commits to provide one or more of the needed items.
Additional follow-up, sharing more sensitive information, and answering specific questions may still be necessary with individual responders. For example, giving a specific address, link, or entry code. Any detail that should not be publicly available should not be included in the Special Instructions.
Agency Best Practices for Multi-Family Requests
- Aim High When Entering the Request
Once the amount or quantity you originally entered for the request has been committed, the CarePortal platform will not allow additional responses. If you aim high, though, you can always close the request as being "Partially Met by Church/CarePortal Network", which will give you the chance to update the actual quantity or amount provided.
- Think About Logistics Ahead of Time
If you're hosting a collections drive, be sure to have a smooth process for collecting the items planned out and confirmed.
- Get Outside Feedback About the Clarity of Your Special Instructions
Special Instructions are only helpful if they're clear and easily understood. Have someone read your first draft to make sure they make sense to an outsider's perspective.
This is such a great feature to include!
Will a caseworker be notified of every response (assuming churches turn off respond to team leader setting?) If so, if the request is for a drive and 100+ items are requested, and 100+ people respond, that would be an overwhelming amount of emails!
Claire, yes, the caseworker would be notified of each response. In adding the Special Instructions field to multi-family requests, the hope is that a caseworker could include any additional information there so that when they get responses to the request, it doesn't necessarily prompt them to need to take action, it would then be more of a notification that someone has responded just so they are aware.
So far, we haven't heard any feedback from caseworkers about overwhelming emails in regards to responses on multi-family requests. If you're aware of that being an issue, though, please let us know and we can look into this more!
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