Social and human service providers address the mental, economic and social barriers and afflictions that generate family discord, homelessness, crime and other social ills. The case manager job description explains the roles these professionals play in delivering the services that can improve behavior, mental health and social and economic stability. Therefore, to serve these clients, case managers must display a broad array of skills and apply knowledge of mental and behavioral health in a variety of family and individual situations.
What Does a Case Manager Professional Do?
Generally speaking, a case manager oversees the provision of services for clients and monitors their progress. The tasks involve assessment, advocacy, planning, evaluation and adjustment of plans and services. Meanwhile, the specific duties and types of services the case manager attempts to deliver for clients depend on the needs of the clients and the mission or purview of the agency.
Case Manager Job Description for Resume – Responsibilities
- Obtain initial information on clients or review information received by intake staff.
- Evaluate clients’ needs, concerns, and eligibility for services.
- Create action and service plans for clients.
- Refer clients to services and resources within the community.
- Evaluate on a periodic basis the effectiveness of programs and services.
- Document provision of services, actions taken, progress and follow-up evaluation or actions.
- Intervene on behalf of clients in emergency situations.
- Meet and collaborate with staff and other providers and professionals in the community, like law enforcement, drug treatment, medical clinics, and job search agencies.
- Counsel clients or family members on causes of and solutions to problems.
Case Manager Job Essential Skills
Interviewing Skills. Case managers interview clients at initial intake and during follow-up sessions. Interviewing skills are essential for managers to obtain sufficiently detailed information to advocate for clients and refer them to the appropriate services. These include asking follow-up questions, eliciting more detailed answers and detecting evasive responses.
Communication Skills. The case manager job description entails having good listening skills and speaking skills when talking with various people, including the client. Through listening, case managers can understand the scope of clients’ predicaments. Communication skills also implicate the case manager’s ability to convey a sense of concern and empathy for the client. They must also have the ability to collaborate and communicate with individuals or agency representatives with sometimes conflicting interests.
Analytical Skills. Case managers need skills in assessing clients’ needs and the appropriate type and level of services. The analysis involves the interpretation of information from intake forms, statements by the clients, family members, and others with knowledge of the client, as well as data and research on best practices.
Interpersonal Skills. The case manager must have good negotiation skills and openness with clients and to maintain confidentiality when required or necessary to serve the client. Clients need case managers to advocate on their behalf for needed services and the promotion of their interests. Therefore, they need to be able to persuade providers, government, nonprofit agencies, and community donors to support and aid the clients.
How to Become a Case Manager Professional
Aspiring case managers must develop a background in human services, social services and handling mental health issues. The cultivation of the knowledge and skills comes through college and post-graduate education. Also, work in the human and social services sector is important.
Education & Training Requirements
At a minimum, case managers must hold bachelor degrees. Some employers prefer or require case managers to have a master’s degree. Typical majors or master’s programs include social work, human services, behavioral science, social science, and psychology.
Depending on the employer and jurisdiction, case managers must possess certifications as case managers and licenses to perform social work, practice psychology, or engage in counseling. The Commission for Case Management Certification controls the process for managers to become board-certified. Also, according to the Commission, nearly four out of ten employers in 2014 required their case managers to be board certified.
In many jurisdictions, case managers must complete training to obtain certifications and approvals to provide case management services. The type of certification or job setting will shape the specific type of training, but typical subjects may include intake, eligibility determination, screening for services and establishment of care or service plans. Those working for elder care agencies may need training on adult care services and resources. Generally, training takes place in classrooms and in on-the-job settings.
Employers typically prefer case managers with a history of work in a social services, mental health or behavioral field. These settings usually consist of rehabilitation facilities, treatment centers, psychiatric wards and counseling centers. While jobs in these establishments may include intake worker, counselor or as a case manager-trainee.
Candidates may demonstrate their qualifications through jobs that involve case management systems. Sample positions include juvenile court counselors, advocates for homeless or other at-risk populations and probation or correctional officers.
Case managers work full-time as a general rule. In general, case managers keep weekday and daytime hours. However, schedules can differ by the work environment. So, case managers in facilities that operate on a 24-hour basis, such as correctional centers, nursing homes, adult care homes and rehabilitation centers, may work in shifts, including evenings and weekends.
Case managers in social services, criminal justice, child support and educational agencies hold fast to traditional office hours. Depending on the specific field, the manager may work outside the office. The case manager job description in child or adult protective services may include traveling for home or site visits. Moreover, those in criminal justice and protective services can expect time in court to testify or offer reports on the progress of those under court supervision.
The prevalence of dysfunctional families, poverty, substance abuse, homelessness, and crime will continue the need for case managers. Moreover, according to Social Work Today, other factors such as an aging population, the complexity of mental disorders and other problems will continue the need for interdisciplinary approaches to treatment.
Three out of four people, adults age 65 and older, suffer from multiple chronic conditions. Clients will rely on case managers to coordinate and direct social, behavioral and other services to afford a holistic address of clients’ issues. Therefore, case managers who obtain certifications or have licenses should find better prospects for employment or to practice independently.
Finally, case managers occupy an essential spot in the delivery of social, human, mental health and behavioral services. The case manager job description calls upon these professionals to grasp through education and training the concepts of case management systems and the issues faced by clients served in the social service sector.