Case management unpacked

Calling all our newly qualified social workers! When you first get your feet on the ground, it can feel like you are being bombarded with new words, information and instructions. Despite learning most of it at university, putting everything into practice is a little different, isn’t it? Today, we wanted to revise what is meant by ‘case management’ so you can go into your next shift with confidence and hopefully, some new tricks up your sleeve.

What is case management? 

Social workers engage in case management to assess, plan, implement, coordinate, monitor, and evaluate the options and services required to meet the specific needs of their clients.

For example, your client expresses a desire to learn the piano and you manage to source an old keyboard from your friend. However, a few months later you find that they still cannot play the piano. This is where assessment skills come in; it’s all about understanding not just what your client wants but if they have the ability to follow through with their request.

Case management: step by step 

  1. Assessment: Social workers conduct thorough assessments to understand the needs, strengths, and challenges of individuals or families. This involves gathering information about their social, emotional, economic, and health-related circumstances.


  1. Planning: Based on the assessment, social workers develop a comprehensive plan that outlines the goals, objectives, and interventions needed to address the identified needs. The plan is typically tailored to the unique circumstances of the individual or family.


  1. Implementation: Social workers work with the individuals or families and collaborate with relevant agencies or professionals to implement the planned interventions. This may involve providing direct support, coordinating services, or advocating for resources on behalf of the clients.


  1. Coordination: Case management often requires collaboration with various professionals and agencies involved in the well-being of the individual or family. Social workers may act as intermediaries to ensure that services are delivered in a coordinated and efficient manner.


  1. Monitoring: Social workers regularly assess the progress of the interventions and make adjustments to the plan as needed. Monitoring may involve ongoing assessments, regular check-ins, and communication with other service providers.


  1. Evaluation: At the conclusion of the intervention, social workers evaluate the outcomes and effectiveness of the services provided. This evaluation helps in determining whether the goals set in the initial plan have been achieved and if any further support is required.


Additional tips: 

  • Optimism is key – Always give positive feedback to your client and expect things to go well. Aim for success rather than creating complex situations where your client will struggle to improve.

  • Get your client’s input – Make sure you give your client(s) the time to express their concerns and main pain points in their life so you can prioritise supporting them in areas that will make the most positive impact.

  • Champion independence – Teach your client(s) how to maintain independence where possible.

  • Prepare yourself for paperwork – There’s going to be a lot of it!

We hope you found this blog helpful; if you’re having trouble finding your first social work role please get in touch with our team. We’re always happy to help! In the meantime, check out our latest opportunities.

carlette Isaac

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