Chat and Text in Information and Referral Service Delivery

Chat and Text in Information and Referral Service Delivery 

The ways in which people access Information & Referral (I&R) and other human services are changing—and changing rapidly. Clients want services that are highly accessible, flexible, and individualized to their preferences. Community, social, and health services need to deliver quality service using online chat and mobile texting technologies. This course outlines the knowledge and skills needed for I&R staff to deliver these services. This course will help human service providers identify important considerations for setting up chat and text at their organization. This course will also assist I&R, crisis, and other service providers understand the basics of professional communication in a chat and text-based environment, including how to apply national standards for I&R service delivery to chat and text mediums. Special attention will be given to how to handle crises in a chat- or text-based environment. The goal of this course is to provide professionals in health and human services settings with information about how to effectively use chat and text services to deliver information and referral services.


Hours: 2.25


Certificates provided by accrediting body (0 Match)

Course Details

Hours: 2.25
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 12/31/2026
Learning Objectives:
Identify why chat and text services are essential in I&R service delivery.
Explain how to implement chat and text services within an I&R service.
List the effective communication skills needed to move smoothly between a phone-based I&R environment and one based on chat and text.
Describe the skills needed to provide crisis service on chat and text.

Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: Implementing Chat and Text Services

Maricela’s Questions: Where Do I Start?

Relevance of Chat and Text

Impact of Chat and Text

What Is Chat?

What Is Text?

How Does the Software Work?

What Qualities Are Required?

What Training Is Required?

Lessons Learned



Section 3: “Good Call” Elements in Chat and Text

Elements of a “Good Call” in a Chat Interaction

Maricela’s First Chat Session

Initial Contact

Chat Assessment and Clarification

Information & Referral Provision


Elements of a “Good Call” in a Text Interaction

Differences Between Chat and Text

Another Type of Chat

Adjusting Service Based on the Client

Maricela’s Feedback



Section 4: Handling Crisis Situations in Chat and Text

Comparisons with Telephone Crisis

Maricela’s First Crisis Chat



Section 5: Conclusion

Overall Summary

Course Contributors



Instructor: Clive Jones, B.A.

Clive Jones is a former President of InformCanada, and is responsible for I&R training, credentialing, and standards development.

Disclosure: Clive Jones, B.A. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Staff Writer: Kimberly Cobb, MS

Mrs. Cobb is a Lead SME Writer/Trainer at Relias. Her primary writing responsibilities are in the Health and Human Services vertical, in the content areas of public safety and behavioral health. Mrs. Cobb is also the onboarding trainer for new Relias staff joining the Content Department. Mrs. Cobb has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. She has over 24 years of experience working in criminal and juvenile justice. Her work includes direct service, research, and training and technical assistance. She was the statewide evaluator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for adult, juvenile, and family drug courts; a Research Associate for the American Probation & Parole Association providing training and technical assistance to Native American Nations/Alaska Native Villages on systemic criminal and juvenile justice initiatives; and a Research Administrator for the University of Kentucky.

Disclosure: Kimberly Cobb, MS has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.