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How to Become a Community Services Case Manager

How to Become a Community Services Case Manager: A Community Services Case Manager will generally perform two roles, the first is to work directly with clients by conducting risk assessments, advocating on their behalf and assisting them in liaising with various agencies. Secondly, Case Managers oversee other frontline staff such as Case Workers or Support Officers and manage their daily tasks. To become a Case Manager, they have usually completed a CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services – Case Management.

What is Case Management?

Case management is a modern approach to the organisation of services supplied to a client by a human services delivery agency, whether it’s public, not for profit or private.

Case management refers to the approach used in a health and social service delivery setting that focuses on identifying the needs of the Client. Case Management is underpinned by comprehensive assessment, goal setting, and individualised service delivery to ensure that the Client experiences the best possible outcome.

The ultimate aim of case management is to empower the Client, so their ongoing involvement in the process is crucial. Case management is a relatively new professional philosophy. The Case Management Society of Australia (CMSA) was established in 1996. It primarily operates in the healthcare domain, where a range of professional disciplines come together to improve the quality of their services. In this context, case management is an attempt to integrate service delivery. It is part of the image of “professional” behaviour. It has a moral focus over and above any legal obligations.

By way of comparison, case management is similar to a client relationship management system – where the needs of the customer are at the forefront of the relationship.

Case management is evolving, and although it’s a relatively new approach to human services, it will quickly become part of the natural philosophy of care service providers.

The Case Management Processes

The Case Management Society of Australia (2008) identifies four key elements that are common to all case management services:

1. Case identification and assessment

Initially, it is important to determine whether the Client is eligible to receive services and to undertake a detailed assessment of their needs. During this initial assessment, the Client provides information about their issue and concerns. The assessment also provides an opportunity for the Case Manager to build rapport with the Client, gather background

information, and to learn more about the Client’s history, also discussing the various services and options that are available to them.

2. Planning

Planning involves developing an action plan in collaboration with the Client. All decisions regarding treatment and interventions are made with the Client according to their needs and priorities. Case plans and the goals they contain are tailored to the individual and ideally use the Client’s own language and words. They enable the Client to actively participate in achieving their goals. Actions are planned, and a timeline for achievement and review established.

3. Monitoring

Monitoring involves checking that services have implemented and that they are meeting the needs of the Client as expected. This aspect of case management also includes checking with the Client that the goals they have set are still relevant and that they can achieve their part in the plan.

4. Evaluation and outcomes

Case management actions are focused on achieving Client driven outcomes. Regular reviews of goals and progress enable the Client and the case manager to measure success and recognise the positive change.

The Role of a Case Manager

A Community Services Case Manager performs two key day-to-day roles.

Assist ClientsSupervise Frontline Case Workers
Assist Clients

The first is to assist clients in managing their cases. Commencing with an assessment of their needs, the setting of appropriate goals using the SMART methodology and then working with the Client over time in conjunction with the required Private, NFP and Government agencies to progressively achieve the desired goals.

Case Management has more recently been compared to a form of Project Management, whereby the Case Manager leads the Client through a series of steps starting with the assessment and identification of their requirements that then translate to a set of goals.

The Case Manager then works with the Client to define what and when these goals are to be achieved by, the stakeholders involved in each goal and the steps required to successfully achieve these goals.

The Case Manager then progressively works through the process of achieving each of these goals in conjunction with the Client and any external stakeholders.

An essential step in this process is the development of a case Management Plan at the commencement of the process. This Case Management Plan clearly identifies the key goals of the plan, the defined time to achieving each goal and the stakeholders involved in each goal.

By developing a detailed Case Management Plan, it clearly defines what is to be achieved through the case, the key activities to be completed and who’s responsible for each task. This plan then ensures accountability for all stakeholders involved in the case, especially the Case Manager, as well as the Client.

Supervise Frontline Case Workers

The second important role that a Case Manager performs is the management and oversight of other frontline Case Workers.

Case Managers work to assist their subordinate Case Workers who each have their own caseload of clients with which they are working.

Case Managers are generally more experienced Community Services Case Workers. They have also undertaken further study such as the CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services – Case Management which provides them with the skills and knowledge required to manage a team of Case Workers successfully.

Case Managers will support and lead their subordinates through the process of Case Management Practice, which was principally described above in their first role of Assisting Clients. The process of Case Management Practice is described in more detail in the article “Support and Lead Colleagues in Case Management Practice”. In summary, Case Management Practice is described in terms of its tasks which include, the assessment of needs; the planning of appropriate services; and the coordination, monitoring, and evaluation of services on behalf of clients.

There is a wide range of topics where staff can receive support and advice, and within the service, therefore are many factors that may result in an individual requiring Case Management Practice.

For example, support and services needed to be provided to individuals with:

Substance abuse issuesMental illnesses
HIV/AidsThe Homeless and also those suffering severe Poverty
Social and developmental problemsPhysical disabilities

Supporting and leading their subordinates successfully through the Case Management Practice is a critical role that is performed by a Case Manager.

Studying to Become a Case Manager

For frontline workers such as Case Workers and Support Officers who are wanting to progress their careers and to become Case Managers, they will generally need to upskill by completing further study.

There are two courses which can assist in the process:

CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services – Case Management
CHCSS00073 Case Management Skill Set

The CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services – Case Management is a comprehensive course which covers all aspects of both the Community Services sector in addition to specialising in becoming a Case Manager. This course is perfect for anyone who’s a new entrant to the industry or has minimal experience and has either completed only a low-level qualification or no formal study at all.

For the more experienced Case Workers or Support Officers that have been working in the industry for many years or who have completed formal qualifications such as the CHC42015 Certificate IV in Community Services then a skill set such as the CHCSS00073 Case Management Skill Set may be sufficient to gain the promotion to a Case Manager.

Salary and Job Outlook for Counselling Jobs

Source: Seek.com.au
Source: Seek.com.au

How to do I Enrol?

Our enrolment process is easy! You can enrol any time and start studying shortly after enrolment.

To enrol:

  • Phone 1300 887 991 to speak to a Course Consultant, OR
  • Complete the online  Application Form, OR
  • For group enrolments, contact our Enterprise team on 0438 099 041 or enter your details here.

Financial Assistance

At Australis College, we have the following options to help ease the cost burden when enrolling into the CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services – Case Management.

Option 1: Interest-Free Monthly Payment Plan
18 equal monthly payments.

Option 2: VET Student Loan from the Commonwealth Government
This course is available under the VET Student Loans scheme effective from 1st January 2017, therefore is subject to eligibility and entry criteria. VET Student Loans are not approved for students that do not meet eligibility requirements. VET Student Loans result in a VETSL debt, are a loan from the Australian Government and continues to be a debt until repaid to the Commonwealth.

Option 2: Queensland State Subsidy – Co-contribution Fee
The Queensland Government will, for eligible Queensland residents, subsidise your course fee and reduce your enrolment cost down to only:

  • $80 ($5 per subject) for concession cardholders, or
  • $160 ($10 per subject) for non-concession enrolments

For more details on the Queensland Higher Level Skills, including eligibility requirements, click here or call us on 1300 887 991.

Option 4: Corporate Enrolments – 15+
For Corporate (15+ enrolments) programs and pricing contact our Enterprise team on 0438 099 041 or enter your details here.

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