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How to Become a Case Manager

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The role of a case manager, in simple terms, is that of a brilliant coach. In the field of social services, a case manager is paired up with a person seeking guidance. The case manager completes an intake and “history,” a brief overview of the client’s life, and set goals for the client to achieve. A person may need a case manager because he needs housing assistance, is trying to stop using drugs, wants to get along better with others, needs help finding a job, etc. Case management jobs can be hard to come by and are often sought, so it’s essential that those wanting to go into this field receive the best training and preparation available.

Becoming a Case Manager

Have the desire to want to help others. A case manager is a person that naturally likes to work with people and has a strong desire to want to help them. He won’t let his personal judgments get in the way of helping others and feels comfortable around different types of personalities.

Receive the proper education. To become a case manager, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field. Some case management fields will require a person to have a master’s degree, especially if they are going to work in a more clinical setting.

Volunteer or get an internship. Having experience as a volunteer or intern in a service setting will help you get a good idea about what a case manager has to do, and will help you make connections that can serve as future professional referral sources or personal references. Working with your target population will also help you get a feel for what their needs really are versus what you think will be helpful. Becoming an intern or volunteer can also help you know if you are going down the right career path.

Acquire voluntary certifications. Some case managers obtain certifications through the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) or the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC), and receive continuing education credits to keep their certifications valid. Doing this can help a case manager attain higher paying jobs and gain more clients.

Apply for a case management position. Case managers often work alongside social workers or in hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, homeless shelters, community assistance agencies and in teen centers. Seeking employment with service-providing agencies can help you lay the groundwork for a rewarding career in the field of case management.