Written by: Christy Johns, TCM
Case managers work to bridge the gap to needed services and resources in the community. They do not provide a service but assist and link clients to resources and services needed to meet the client’s mental health needs, achieve recovery, overcome barriers to treatment and live independently in the community. Case management is a means for achieving client wellness through communication, education and service identification with appropriate referrals. It is a time-limited process with the goal of self-sufficiency.
Case managers work in such a way as to encourage clients to navigate and access resources independently in order to build confidence and prevent enabling the client. Case managers work closely with clients age 2-64 who are actively involved in their care. Case managers empower individuals to decide what they want for their lives and those decisions then form the basis for the development of plans and implementation. The case manager and client create a service plan based on functioning, strengths, and needs, and meet two times monthly in the home or community to monitor the success of utilization of resources. Case managers coordinate services with other providers to help clients achieve personalized goals. Case managers ensure the changing needs of clients are addressed on a continual basis and appropriate resources are provided as well as all members of the treatment team and involved community partners are made aware.
Case management services include: identifying barriers to treatment, identifying support systems, referrals to needed medical, psychiatric, dental, vision, vocational, educational, social and benefits services. Coordination and ongoing monitoring of services, crisis planning, assistance with finding and maintaining housing, linking to rehab facilities and advocating in the school system.
Case managers work with a person-centered approach allowing us to see the person first and what matters to them, not what is the matter with them. Case managers ask what is important to clients as well as for them while respecting individuality, rights, and dignity and encouraging independence which allows clients to make choices and maintain privacy. Case managers attempt to “wrap” a comprehensive array of individualized services and support networks around the client rather than force them to participate in a pre-determined and inflexible treatment plan.