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How We Obtain Information

Accountability Protocols

Since Philoptochos is accountable to its members & donors, we follow our procedures to determine if and how Philoptochos can help most effectively. Clients must complete and sign an Application for Assistance, Consent for Release of Information and submit documentation as noted below.


  1. The Application for Assistance allows clients
    • to explain in their own words the events that led up to their needing help;  
    • their specific “ask” – what it is they hope we can provide;
    • whether they are receiving/ received or are requesting help from other resources;
    • how they have managed until the time they reached out to us;
    • whether they have been in this situation previously, and
    • since we do not have the resources to provide ongoing help, how they plan to manage in the future

  2. The Consent for Release of Information form gives us permission to contact secondary sources (e.g. medical providers, etc. landlord, utility company, etc.) in case we need to confirm details, and if needed, to request more information pertinent to their “ask”.
    • Clients whose language barriers prevent them from filling out the forms themselves are assisted to do so.
    • With the signed consent form, National Philoptochos can contact the local chapter and/ or Metropolis Philoptochos to request face-to-face interviews and to coordinate services and assistance.
    • Even though we have a ‘signed consent’, we inform clients if, and when, we may need to contact others on their behalf.

  3. Background Information – Documentation:
    • Clients are asked to submit a recent photo of themselves, and if relevant, a photo with their family
    • Clients must submit documentation of
      • Household income from all sources:
        • g. recent paystubs and/or copy of tax return; public benefits award or denial letters from SSI/ SSA/ SSD/ TANF/ SNAP (Food Stamps)/ State Disability, etc.;
        • help from family, friends; child support; alimony; other
      • Household expenses:
        • g. copies of recent/or outstanding /uncovered bills;
        • lease/ rent receipt, mortgage statement;
        • relevant court papers e.g. eviction notice if applicable
        • medical information / outstanding bills, etc. (specifics depend on situation)
      • List of help they are receiving, have received and/or have requested from other organizations (public, private and nonprofit, other levels of Philoptochos) including dates, amounts, purpose(s) of help

  4. Interviews:
  • NOTE:  National’s cases are nationwide, therefore, many of our Social Service interviews are conducted over the telephone or by email.  However, when we ask local chapters to assist, or when we ask them to conduct an ‘on site’ confirmation of the family’s situation, we recommend face-to-face interviews.
    • We conduct primary and secondary interviews with the client and other relevant parties to learn the client’s history and issues / events that may have led to their current situation and need
    • Much can be revealed by a person’s demeanor, physical and emotional state, neatness, condition of clothing, body language, eye contact, items they carry with them, or have in their homes, etc.
    • The interview helps us find out the client’s primary “ask” and its underlying reasons.  
    • It gives people the opportunity to describe in their own words how they reached their current situation and how they think / hope the problem can be resolved.  
      • It also reveals whether they have been in this or a similar situation before – factors that we explore with the client to determine how and if we can help them avoid such repeat behaviors.



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