Case management in social work

Jolanta Pivorienė

Abstract


Case management is an approach to service delivery that attempts to ensure that clients with complex, multiple problems receive all the services they need in a timely and appropriate fashion.
Assessment refers to the process whereby a professional on hearing the specifics of the client’s initial problem, calls on a particular theoretical base to render a judgment, conclusion or determination as to possible causes or correlates. This assessment then legitimate a particular course of helping designed to ameliorate the problem. Within a strength perspective, the assessment is produced by both the client and the case manager. Information is collected in six domains: daily living, financial, vocational/educational, social support, health, leisure – in time dimension: personal history, present social context and the future vision.
Planning is the formulation of a strategy to meet the client’s assessed needs. It is a process of determination what services and resources are necessary for client’s problem solution and planning for the most appropriate services delivery. In developing a client’s personal plan, the case manager is guided by the following hierarchy of questions: is the goal the client can do himself; is there someone in the client’s support network who can help him in implementing the goal; is this goal can be achieved with the client or for the client?
During case management plan implementation case manager is expected to link clients to the services that are available to meet their needs. The case manager has to assess whether these services are appropriate, adequate and accessible.
Monitoring is an intensive and multidimensional process of reviewing services delivered to the individual client and also includes identifying service gaps in the community and collecting and analyzing management information data for process evaluation. Monitoring is a collective and continues collaboration.
There are several indicators that might show that the case management process could be finished: the goal and aims are achieved, the activities become routine, and client is able to sustain planed and achieved changes.
The range of case manager functions varies depending on such contextual factors as the characteristics of target population, environmental issues, the nature of the problems and service delivery system. Case manager at times deliver a service, secure advocacy services, participates in crisis intervention, search for and develop new resources. Outreach is another common function of case manager.

Keywords


case management; case management process: assessment; planning; implementation; monitoring; evaluation; functions of case manager

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789