Knowledge Base

What is case management?

What is case management?

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Case management refers to the process of identifying, assessing, planning, and the delivery of services to a child and family in an individualized, contextual, client-centered manner. This can be through direct support and/or referrals. Case management is effective because it addresses concerns within a family systematically and regularly reviews the environment and family to maintain the best interest of children in the family.

Principles of case management 

    Child and family participation is core to the case management process. Without their participation and input in the process, there will be little relationship and trust as you try to work with the family. When uninformed decisions are made for a family, there is a a greater chance of misunderstanding their situation and the challenges they experience. In contrast, when we invite children and families into the decision-making about their lives, they feel valued, respected, and will feel more ownership and willingness to work together towards goals. Additionally, more participation leads to greater long-term outcomes.
    Every child and family has unique strengths. As a caseworker, one of your roles is to really understand these families holistically. Take time not only to understand their challenges but what are the family’s strengths? Where do they have resources? What meaningful friendships or relationships do they have within their community?
    A key to successful case planning is working directly with a family to agree upon the goals that we are all working towards. With these goals, there is a detailed timeline, as well as clear responsibilities. Depending on the action, it’s important to plan for ample time for preparation. As an example, in reintegration, its important to bring the child, family and community together to agree on expectations with everyone involved. When expectations and responsibilities are clarified, we can hold one another accountable. 
    With clear goals and expectations, we start to see a different type of relationship emerge between families and an organization. It is not one out of dependency but development with dignity.

Additional Resources

    In this eCourse, you will learn about the foundations of good case management as well as the steps and tools to implement good case management in both a child-centered support model and a family assessment and monitoring model. Access case management course here.
    Better Care Network has a practitioner hub that has resources across various themes. There is a great section titled ‘principles of good care practices’.