Module 4: Case Management
“The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work.”
-Agha Hasan Abedi
Case management is a complex, difficult skill to acquire. As Mullahy and Jensen state, “it is not for the faint of heart.” (The Case Manager’s Handbook, 3rd Ed., 2004) The concept of case management arose as a major concept in relation to the medical field. Today, it is extended to many helping professions in which an individual is assisting multiple clients to acquire the care and services they require. There is a growing body of evidence that indicates that effective case management is directly linked to better outcomes for consumers. These improved outcomes are related to a growing focus on multidisciplinary team approaches, holistic care, person centered planning and the utilization of evidence based practices.
If you look at several definitions of case management, you will find the overlapping concepts of organization, implementation, evaluation, coordination, assessment, planning, collaboration, monitoring, and cost efficiency. To be an effective case manager, it is suggested that one have a diverse background comprised of medical, psychological, community resource, multicultural and spiritual knowledge areas. As you can see, the best case managers are made, not born. It is with this consideration that it will be in your favor to critically evaluate your own case management competencies and establish with your supervisor a case management process that highlights your strengths, also while building your deficits.
Case management and vocational rehabilitation work are inextricably tied. As a vocational rehabilitation counselor you will be expected to engage clients in the rehabilitation process, assess individuals for eligibility and planning purposes, develop, implement and monitor individualized rehabilitation plans, and evaluate outcomes for your consumers. During these stages, you will be gathering comprehensive amounts of data, organizing and prioritizing client’s cases, and working with other professionals to address client needs and barriers to employment. In addition, the entire process is documented and reviewed periodically in accordance with RSA casework standards. Thus, vocational rehabilitation work is a juggling act. It is a skilled act and a learned one. It is challenging, multifaceted, frustrating at times and exhilarating at others. It is the type of work, that once you learn the balancing act, you will begin to feel competent and confident, even amongst times of conflict and change. Overall, we hope you find case managment empowering in a manner that serves you well in both work and life.
Please take some time to look at the vocational rehabilitation case process statuses:
00 - Referral
02 - Applicant
04 – Order of Selection Waiting List
06 - Extended Evaluation (for eligibility determination taking more than 60 days)
08 - Closed after Application or Extended Evaluation
10 - Plan Development (accepted for services, but the IPE is not completed)
12 - Plan Completed (IPE written, but not initiated)
14 - Counseling and Guidance (if this is the only service being provided)
16 - Physical and Mental Restoration (medical services are being provided)
18 - Training (when the Consumer is in any form of training)
20 - Ready for Employment (the Consumer is ready for job placement)
22 - In Employment
24 - Services Interrupted (normally loss of contact with the Consumer)
26 - Closed Rehabilitated (after 90 days of successful employment)
28 - Closed Unsuccessfully after services began
30 - Closed Unsuccessfully before services began
32 - Post Employment Services (when necessary to maintain a 26 closure)
34 - Closed from Post Employment Services with employment maintained
36 - Post Employment Services Discontinued (case reopened)
38 - Post Employment Services Discontinued (for other reasons)
Now, please take a moment to review the 6 essential acts of case management:
Within each area (6 essential acts only) rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (1=no experience/limitation, 10=much experience/strength) and then answer the following questions:
1. Which of these areas is your greatest strength? How are you going to utilize this strength in your daily work in order to be an asset to your organization?
2. Which of these areas is your greatest weakness? How are you going to capitalize on the knowledge bases of your colleagues and enhance your own professional development in this area through other resources?
3. Refer to the Internet or other agency resources and write your own definition of case management. How does this definition relate to your work as a vocational rehabilitation counselor? Compare your definition to the vocational rehabilitation statuses. How do they relate? How do they differ?