It is recognized that information and referral (I&R) programs help individuals, families and communities identify, understand and effectively use the programs that are part of the human service delivery system. At the community level, I&R services facilitate long-range planning by tracking requests for service and identifying gaps and duplications in services. I&R services also work with other human service organizations to make them a better resource for their clients. Professional I&R specialists help people understand their problems and make informed decisions about possible solutions. They may advocate on behalf of those who need special support and reinforce the individual’s capacity for self-reliance and self-determination through education, affirmation, collaborative planning and problem solving.
I&R services are a vital link bringing people and services together. FLAIRS, as a statewide association of agencies and individuals, committed to the provision of quality I&R services has a broad membership. Our members include representatives from general I&R’s; specialized I&R’s, such as elder helplines, child care resource and referral providers; crisis hotlines; and others who provide information services. FLAIRS serves as the statewide mutual assistance network for its members. It also serves as the I&R education source and in this regard offers an annual training conference for our members and other interested service providers.