Client Care – Vulnerable clients
How would you define vulnerable? If this word was applied to you, would you agree with it?
A large number of adults could be considered vulnerable, in one way or another but that figure is probably even higher since the coronavirus pandemic. Vulnerability can take many forms, it can be fleeting or can last indefinitely, depending on a number of factors.
Low Income, bereavement, losing your job, traumatic incident, these are all considered vulnerabilities. Any of these could leave you overwhelmed, unable to process information and potentially limit access to legal services.
Why is it even worth identifying it? Because to provide the best service and support means we have to understand and do what we can to help to make the process easier for vulnerable clients, ensuring they feel supported and heard.
What ways can vulnerability manifest itself?
- struggling to process advice or forgetting the advice given – experiencing a feeling of Groundhog Day
- challenging advice given
- becoming overwhelmed
- crying and becoming upset easily
- ranting about one topic and it being very difficult to shift from this topic
- negatively focussing, often irrationally on a particular event or person
What should anyone do to help and support? Simple really…
Genuinely listen, reassure and be relentlessly kind.
Don’t raise your voice, remain calm, it is not personal and if voices are raised nothing will be achieved.
Above all, be understanding of the particular situation, don’t judge and try to do your best to help.
You never know if one day it might be you that is feeling vulnerable and would like to be treated in the same way.