Richland County's First Call 211 Accredited Through AIRS

Richland County's First Call 211 Accredited Through AIRS

  • 2/8/2019 12:22:19 PM
  • Jenna Ramolt
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH – Richland County's First Call 211 service is celebrating Monday, February 11th, or 2-1-1, with some good news: the organization has been officially accredited through the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS).

AIRS is a nonprofit association that creates and maintains databases of agencies and programs, like First Call 211, that offer services and disseminate information about agencies and services available within their respective communities. The AIRS Accreditation Program is a long and rigorous process that assesses more than 200 distinct components of an information and referral service's operation. This includes an expert review of the agency's resource database, a "secret shopper" monitoring of service delivery, and culminates in a detailed on-site review. The accreditation is valid for 5 years, after which time the service must undergo and pass a review when it reapplies in August 2023. First Call 211 joins more than 140 organizations across the United States and Canada to have successfully been awarded AIRS Accreditation.

"This recognition confirms what our community has always known, that the service provided by the staff and volunteers at First Call 211 is top notch," said Chris May, Director of Mansfield/Richland County Public Library. "In addition to traditional I&R calls, the service has expanded over the years to include walk-in visits, screenings for access to community services, income tax preparation assistance, and taken on special projects that include event registration, disaster assistance, and community needs reporting. In the near future, the service will be adding texting capabilities as an additional means of communicating with customers.”

First Call 211, a partnership between the Mansfield Richland County Public Library and Richland County Job & Family Services, provides information and referral services on a 24-hour basis for all of Richland County. It links residents who express needs or concerns with the appropriate agencies and programs that may help. Professionally certified call specialists do more than provide basic contact information for community services; they help individuals focus and prioritize their concerns; explain basic eligibility requirements, and discuss how to navigate through the often confusing health and human services networks.

Director of Richland County Job & Family Services, Sharlene Neumann, added, “Achieving accreditation is particularly important as it officially authorizes the service to continue using 2-1-1 for 3-digit dialing.”

First Call 211 can be accessed by phone by dialing 2-1-1 in Richland County (or using the full 10-digit number 419-522-4636 anywhere at any time). Walk-in services are provided from 9 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday at the office located at 36 W. 3rd Street in downtown Mansfield, across from the Main Library. Several community resource lists are available online and can be downloaded from the website: www.mrcpl.org/community/first-call-211.

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