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Invite website visitors to search your database


Now more than ever, people are looking for alternative channels to find help besides calling your helpline. One of those options in high demand is the ability for a help-seeker to do their own self-service searches online to find the resources that can help them.

It’s tempting to go online to find what you need, but there are pitfalls. Depending on the search engine or websites that turn up as search results, people in need of help may be getting unreliable, inaccurate, or outdated information. What was already a difficult situation could be made worse if a help-seeker is facing dead-ends, out-of-service numbers, or services that can’t actually help them.

And that’s to say nothing of your help-seeker’s ability to understand the complex systems of care in their community, what they might really need or be eligible for, what organizations can help, the application process, or if there are other services that could help that they may not have thought of.

The whole goal of I&R helplines or 2-1-1s is to listen to the whole story and provide guidance and help navigating complex situations and the referrals that can help. There is a way to be sure your clients are still getting your expert guidance even if they don’t pick up the phone to call you.

iCarol offers options for placing your Resource Database on your own website for public access. We call this the Public Resource Directory. There are two basic options available to our users at this time:

  • Create a link to your Resource Database that will open up a new page, where the user can browse and search your resources. This is a very easy approach but does not maintain the formatting of your website since the link takes your visitor to a separate page.

  • Embed the resources in an iframe within your website so that the user’s viewing experience is consistent with the design and formatting of your site.
  • Our Public Resource Directory includes a number of settings for you to decide your specific configurations such as font types and sizes, inclusion of your logo, and highlighted resources. Many of our users also like to create buttons on their website that open up very specific, preset searches for common needs such as food pantries, shelter, or financial assistance.

    Not all resources contained in your internal iCarol resource database may be appropriate for this public-facing search, and so you can prevent any resource from being displayed to the public. You can also control what fields will and will not be visible for each record type.

    Want to learn more about using iCarol to give resource and referral information to your help seekers, over the phone or online? Watch a webinar! Or to learn more about this or any other iCarol feature, feel free to connect with us!


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