According to Wikipedia self-service is “…the practice of serving oneself, usually when purchasing items.” The way we re-fuel our cars and shop in supermarkets are classic examples of how self-service has become part of our lifestyle. However, the biggest and most influential self-service market of all is of course, the Internet.
When she came to Citizens Advice, Alyson was concerned that her son Harry[*], who had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) six months previously, would get all the support he needed when he started at a local authority funded school in two months time. Alyson had done some Internet research into ADHD and the support available for those who had the condition and their carers. She knew that forgetting homework, daydreaming in the classroom, being fidgety, or acting without thinking are often seen as ‘normal’ child behaviour and part of growing up. She also knew that although this may be true for many children, inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity are also possible signs of ADHD and that if ignored, this condition could lead to problems at home and school and affect a child’s ability to learn and to get on with others. Alyson had not sent Harry to a nursery – she felt his behaviour would be too disruptive. She and her husband Greg had been working full time and had agreed that Greg would give up his job to look after their son because he needed more care than most children his age. They had managed to keep up the mortgage repayments on the family home for the time being, though Greg was hoping to work part-time when Harry had started school.
Alyson had found that her self-service approach to getting more information about her son’s condition and how to manage it (via the Internet) had left her a bit confused – mainly because there was so much information available on the web. The CAB adviser she met was able to offer her guided self-service by directing her to websites which were informative and authentic – very important given that a lot of the information posted on the Internet is unchecked and inaccurate.
The adviser was also able to:
- make her aware of benefits to which her family may be entitled (for example, Carer’s Allowance)
- re-assure her that she could always come back to the bureau should she need any further clarification.
Alyson is one of thousands of clients helped by Citizens Advice Waverley every year. The quality of advice we provide relies on dedicated volunteer advisers and an efficient, highly skilled management team. We are now looking for an experienced Service Delivery Manager to join us.
Operations experience, leading teams of paid staff and volunteers and managing an advice giving service are all skills that this role requires. We pride ourselves on the quality of service we provide to our clients, our motivated team members and strong partnerships with our funders. Our new Service Delivery Manager will reinforce these practices as well as putting in place strategies to meet the challenges we face ahead. In return we offer flexible hours, career progression to leadership roles and an environment where you can really make a difference. Our advice offices are located in Cranleigh, Farnham, Godalming and Haslemere. Interested? See our website for further details.
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