The County and Accenture set out to create a training solution for Accenture’s successful AVEnueS program that enables participants to increase their interviewing, empathy, service and accuracy skills.
Learning these skills in a virtual environment, rather than on the job or while shadowing experienced workers, protects potential applicants from frustrating, upsetting or embarrassing situations. AVEnueS can be used in the hiring process as well, giving applicants the opportunity to experience an accurate representation of the role to determine early on if it is the right fit, saving the organization and the candidate precious time and energy.
AVEnueS improves the ability of new and seasoned caseworkers to use an appropriate question style to gain the information needed without using jargon that confuses the applicant. The accompanying curriculum and training seminar allows participants to reflect on their skills as well as the power dynamics present when working with individuals and families. In the end, participants feel like they can ask questions in a way that elicits more positive responses, isn’t disrespectful and wouldn't be interpreted as accusatory. Over 90% of AVEnueS participants have reported that the training improved their skills in engaging individuals and provided a realistic expectation of their new role. And 100% of AVEnueS participants have said they would recommend the experience to a coworker.
The eligibility program has been so successful that the County won the Information Technology Solutions Management for Human Services (ISM) affinity group national award for the Best Use of Technology for Operations with an Internal Focus. This award recognizes the innovative use of technology to enhance and improve the internal productivity and efficiencies of a human services organization.
Helping families receive essential benefits is a job with many ups and downs. Fortunately, caseworkers in San Diego County now have another tool to do their jobs effectively and confidently.