Do Your Homework

Get as much information as you can.

Find out:

  • What does this agency provide?
  • How does this agency work?
  • How do I apply for services?
  • Who is in charge of what I need to know or to get?
  • What information and documents do I need to have ready when I call or go in for an appointment?

Ask for an "organizational chart." This is a diagram that helps explain how the agency and its departments work, who is supposed to do what, and who you should go to if you're not getting satisfaction.

Get it in writing! If someone won't give it to you in writing, ask to speak to a supervisor.

Use the telephone book, especially the blue "government" pages. See if you can get at list of important phone numbers (from the school, the Mayor's office, or a local agency that is helping you).

Keep important papers in a folder. If you have more than one grandchild, set up a folder for each one. You can write important information on the cover of each folder (your grandchild's Social Security number; date of birth; school address, phone number, principal and teacher's names; health care information, etc.)