July 27, 2011 - Issue: Vol. 157, No. 114 — Daily Edition112th Congress (2011 - 2012) - 1st Session
SENATE RESOLUTION 241--EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR THE DESIGNATION OF NOVEMBER 16, 2011, AS NATIONAL INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICES DAY; Congressional Record Vol. 157, No. 114
(Senate - July 27, 2011)
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[Pages S4962-S4963] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] SENATE RESOLUTION 241--EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR THE DESIGNATION OF NOVEMBER 16, 2011, AS NATIONAL INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICES DAY Mr. MENENDEZ (for himself and Mrs. Murray) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions: S. Res. 241 Whereas information and referral services link the consumer who has a need or problem with the most appropriate service to address that need or solve that problem; [[Page S4963]] Whereas quality information and referral services are the keystone point of entry to the entire human services structure delivery system; Whereas information and referral services have been recognized in Federal legislation for more than 35 years since the 1973 reauthorization of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.), and the subsequent establishment of the national Eldercare Locator and the development of Aging and Disability Resource Centers; Whereas, as of the date of agreement to this resolution, the United States is served by information and referral through 2-1-1 programs, aging information and referral services, Aging and Disability Resource Centers, child care resource and referral services, military family centers, and other specialty information and referral services; Whereas individuals who understand the variety of services available are better equipped to make decisions; Whereas, in 1997, the national 2-1-1 initiative began with the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta creating the first 24- hour telephone information and referral service using the easy-to-remember 2-1-1 dialing code for access; Whereas, in 2000, the Federal Communications Commission reserved the 2-1-1 dialing code for community information and referral services, intended as an easy-to-remember and universally recognizable number that would serve as a vital connection between individuals and families in need, and appropriate community-based organizations and government agencies, on a regular basis and in times of disaster; Whereas the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems has been providing professional standards and credentialing programs for those operating information and referral services; Whereas expanding access to information about, and referrals to, services provides individuals with lower-cost and safer options for managing their needs, and is likely to reduce confusion, frustration, and inaccessibility to services; and Whereas requests for assistance through information and referral services and 2-1-1 have increased across the United States due to the economic crisis: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate-- (1) expresses support for the designation of November 16, 2011, as National Information and Referral Services Day-- (A) to raise public awareness about the existence and importance of information and referral services available to all people in the United States; and (B) to more effectively target those services to reach individuals most in need; (2) encourages activities in communities across the United States involving schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and other entities to ensure information and referral services are part of everyday life in addition to emergency preparedness programs; and (3) reaffirms the importance of clear and consistent professional standards to govern every aspect of quality information and referral services. ____________________