A human services case manager assists people in coping with life’s challenges. Commonly called social workers, these professionals are found in a variety of environments, including non-profit organizations, schools and government agencies. As a result, their day-to-day responsibilities and client-base are dependent upon the environment in which they are employed.
Child and Family Case Manager
Many case managers work in child and family welfare agencies. In this environment, they serve as an advocate for defenseless children, such as those who have been abused or abandoned. They place them in foster care and facilitate adoptions. They may also partner with other agencies and organizations to arrange for medical or educational services for the child.
If serving families, a human services worker identifies their needs and works to remedy the situation. If a family’s home is damaged by a fire, for example, they may arrange for temporary housing. They may also reach out to other organizations or charities to procure clothing, food and personal care items. When working with families in a clinical environment, they may arrange for counseling that addresses emotional challenges, such as those that come from divorce and death.
School Case Manager
In an educational environment, a human services case manager counsels and advises students on a variety of issues, including bullying, truancy and poor academic performance. They question the student to determine the root of the problem. Serving as a liaison between parents, teachers and school administration, they develop an action plan to correct or improve the issue. For example, they may recommend testing for a student with poor grades to determine if a learning disability is at hand. Alternatively, they may alert the proper authorities, such as the police or state child welfare agency, if they discover a child is being abused at home.
Health Care Case Manager
A human services case manager employed in a hospital or other health care environment works with patients who have recently received a medical diagnosis, such as a chronic or terminal illness. They may refer them to mental health professionals and support groups to assist the client in making necessary emotional adjustments to their illness. They may also liaise with doctors, pharmacists and other medical specialists to assist clients in understanding their condition and treatment.
When working with the elderly, a human services case manager may arrange for in-home meal delivery or medical treatments. They refer clients and their families to nursing homes and long-term care facilities. In a hospice environment, they direct clients and their families to services aimed at minimizing physical discomfort and emotional grief.
Substance Abuse Case Manager
Other human services case managers serve those with additional mental health issues. In this instance, they refer their clients to services, such as rehabilitation facilities, substance abuse support groups and psychological specialists, to assist them in managing or, in some cases, overcoming their issues. They may also provide support to the family and friends of afflicted individuals, helping them cope with their loved one’s disease or illness.