Metro Office of Family Safety Client Follow-Up
Created by the Metro Office of Family Safety in Nashville, this Client Follow-Up resource provides strategies for supporting and contacting clients while advocacy is remote or near-remote in response to COVID-19. It specifies methods for contacting new clients within their first 24 hours of reaching out for services, as well as strategies for checking in with past clients to ensure they are safe while sheltering in place. This template resource can be used in Family Justice Centers across the country to continue supporting clients during the pandemic.
Metro Office of Family Safety shared the following text on April 9th as a recent addition to the downloadable PDF document:
"We are starting a new outreach technique today which begins with a text rather than a call.
Text will say: “Hi (client’s first name) this is (Advocate first name) with Metro government checking on your health and safety. How are you? May I call or text you and if so when would be a good time?”
- We feel it’s important to use their name – so they know the text is from someone who knows of them or met them
- We feel it is important to use the word “health” in case an offender reads it – they will think it’s about COVID19
- We feel it is important to use the word “safe” as a trigger word for victims – where they will think of their physical safety
- How are you – gives an opportunity for a quick reply “help” if needed
- Giving client control over if there is further conversation and if so when – also important
- For those that cannot say they are with Metro Government – you could say, ”I work with the city…” (not saying “for” the city just “with”)
- Our advocates will NOT use the same gender as the offender – for example, if Joseph is the advocate and the client’s intimate partner is male – Joseph will text as Josi or Josephine"