Case management is a tool that SCSEP staff can use to foster success—in your programs, for your participants, for the community, and in your partnerships. The Case Management Society of America (CMSA) provides the following definition for case management.
“Case management is a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, care coordination, evaluation, and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual's and family's comprehensive health needs through communication and available resources to promote quality, cost-effective outcomes.” (Source: CMSA, What Is A Case Manager)
As autumn approaches, let’s pause for a fresh look at case management. Are you utilizing all the elements in case management to support success? Breaking SMSA’s definition down, how are you and your staff addressing the following elements of case management?
- Assessment—are you engaging participants regularly to gather information and help them identify and update their needs and strengths?
- Service Planning—do you work with each participant to develop a plan that complements the strengths identified in your assessment? Do your plans include objectives that are specific, attainable, and measurable?
- Facilitation—are you developing your participant’s self-advocacy skills? And are you working to enhance the capacity of your community and partners to support your participants?
- Care Coordination—are you promoting collaboration with your program partners to enhance service delivery and maximize success for them and your participants?
- Evaluation—do you regularly solicit feedback from clients on the effectiveness of your services and make adjustments accordingly, to improve your practice?
Case management can be a collaborative process and is a core component of a participant-centered system. It should focus on the participant’s goals/objectives, barriers, wants and needs. Case management provides structure and guidance to help reach both the case manager’s and the participant’s goals.
As you all know, the SCSEP grantee’s front line staff are responsible for a wide range of case management activities. Front line staff play a critical role in helping guide, support, and motivate participants seeking training, employment, and advancement. To be an effective case manager you must employ a wide range of skills and tools, all of which must be supported by administrative practices and policies. Grantees rely on effective case managers to provide assistance with advocacy, communication, education, identification of service resources.
Use these tools to learn more on case management:
- Integrated Case Management: Understanding the Big Picture
- Case Management Training
- Standards for Social Work Case Management, National Association of Social Work
- Effective Case Management and Counseling - The Role of Triage and Documentation
What are your experiences with case management? Please visit our Discussion Topics page and ask one of our experts a question or feel free to leave a comment. We would also love to hear about your successful case management strategies!