Christine Hay: Case Coordinator
We don't all come to the table with the same chances and choices in life. If I were not there to do my job, families would need to care for their own and this would place a heavy burden on them.
Local 47 - Civil Service, Social Sciences Component
Christine Hay strongly believes that a society is marked by how well they treat the sick, disabled and poor. As a case coordinator working for Employment and Income Assistance for the past 11 years, she has seen firsthand how vital the services are that she provides.
“My main goal is to try to meet people's needs, in a financial way, by making referrals to other services and agencies, and by providing counselling (mostly crisis counselling), as other services/agencies are not able to be accessed immediately. I am also responsible for encouraging people to find work and or training,” Hay says.
It’s Christine’s job to work with single parents, families and people with disabilities - helping them deal with medical emergencies, emotional problems, family breakdowns, grief over losing loved ones, depression, and issues with children.
“I love working with people, and have learned to have more compassion, and remain humble, because I don't have all the answers, and am still learning about life and living. Since I disperse taxpayer’s dollars, I am also always doing my best to be fiscally responsible. Part of the job includes verifying information and performing investigative functions,” says Hay.
One of the most important aspects of the job is being mindful not to do for people what they can do for themselves. And while it is important to give advice or suggest alternatives, to remember that people must make their own choices. It’s imperative to foster independence in people, so they do not become dependent on their case coordinators or the program.
“I have found my co-workers to be supportive and helpful with their own knowledge and past experiences through my career with the Department. The work is very stressful and demanding, so you need the support of co-workers. I need to de-brief, as do my colleagues, so we know what each other is going through, and to gain some perspective before we break down. We all have learned to manage our own coping mechanisms, so we remain mentally and physically healthy,” Hay says.
“We don't all come to the table with the same chances and choices in life. If I were not there to do my job, families would need to care for their own and this would place a heavy burden on them.”