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Hoarding: How Case Managers Can Help

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March 26, 2017

Time Management Techniques for Human Service Professionals


Time management is a critical skill needed to be successful in the human services field.  Case management has changed significantly over the years and so has the amount of work and responsibilities.  I would argue that the amount of work has tripled over the last decade or so. Caseloads have also increased along with the amount of paperwork and service coordination that is expected from case managers. One thing that hasn’t changed is the amount of time available to handle such a heavy workload. That’s why time management is so important.

February 13, 2017

The Case for Family as Paid Caregivers


One of the more polarizing debates in the human services field is whether or not family (parents in particular) should be paid caregivers for their adult children. This debate has come to the forefront as states try to move to more community based services and seek to eliminate or at least significantly reduce the usage of state institutions. Services like sponsored residential placement have seen a significant increase in requests my by parents and other family members willing to provide residential care and be reimbursed by the state/sponsor agency.

February 5, 2017

Long –Term Planning for the Disabled


Case managers often provide assistance with maintaining benefits. This is critical because they need medical insurance to obtain vital services such as medications and regular physical evaluations. They also need their medical insurance to keep housing and other support services like transportation, day support, etc. These services are primarily funded through Medicaid, which has some restrictions on personal assets in order to keep coverage. 

It’s important to monitor funds to make sure that they stay below the threshold to maintain coverage. In most cases, the bank account limit is around $2,000.00. This is usually monitored by a family member or a designated payee.  Case managers rarely handle a client’s person finances and probably shouldn’t due to the high liability involved. The best option is to refer them to an agency that specializes in  payee services or suggest a trusted family member be assigned this role.

December 15, 2016

A Few Things to Consider Before Opening a Group Home


Group homes have proven to be an extremely profitable business over the last decade or so.  With many states moving toward community-based services, group homes are in demand more than ever before. However, there are several questions that need to be considered before diving into the group home business.

December 5, 2016

Transitioning from Institution to the Community

Many states are emphasizing the need for more community integration and reducing the number of people who are in state hospitals for the mentally disabled.  This is a challenge for both the human service professionals tasked with coordinating the transition as well as the client. In some cases, people have spent decades in state institutions and will have to adjust to life back in the community.  There are also some situations when the institution was used as the most appropriate alternative to incarceration.  Whatever the reason for institutionalization, it requires a great deal of coordination between the case manager and other agencies on the treatment team when the time comes to return to the community.  I will review the general steps taken when transitioning someone from an institution back into the community.

October 8, 2016

Case Management: Navigating the Criminal Justice System


Collaborating with other agencies and internal departments is important when coordinating services. Case managers who work with individuals with mental health and intellectual disabilities will occasionally find themselves involved in the criminal justice system in addition to other human service providers. This collaboration is critical for ensuring that people are able to obtain the appropriate treatment instead of incarceration. People with mental illness or other disabilities are often placed in jail settings due to a lack of psychiatric beds or limited resources to be maintained in the community. This has led to further mental decompensation or deterioration and resulted in several deaths in jails across the country.

August 14, 2016

Case Management: Monitoring Services

Monitoring services is yet another key case management duty. The monitoring phase is usually the final phase of the case management process that occurs after you have made the referral (linkage) and coordinated services that are now in place. The monitoring phase, in my opinion, is the easiest (or less difficult) aspects of case management. Monitoring is basically ensuring that services are delivered as specified on the treatment plan and that the client is satisfied with all services. Case managers also monitor for safety and are  mandated to report any suspected abuse or neglect. Although case management services may differ slightly depending on the program and state, a monthly contact of some kind is usually required to monitor services (and bill Medicaid of course). There are several methods case managers use to monitor client services and overall progress on treatment goals.

July 3, 2016

The Basics of Service Coordination


Service coordination is one of the essential functions of case management services. Service coordination can be defined as the activities that case managers perform in order initiate and maintain services for their clients. Service coordination involves organizing just about every aspect of the client’s services. Case managers assist with everything from healthcare appointments to helping a client move into a new apartment (Including obtaining the vehicle and helping physically).  I have listed just a few of the service coordination duties that case managers perform on a regular basis. This is by no means an all-inclusive list. I’m sure there is much more you can add to this list.

June 25, 2016

Group Homes: Why Bigger is not Always Better


You’ve heard the phrase “Bigger is better” right? This has not been the case when it comes to group homes for the disabled. Many states have established policies designed to downsize institutions and training centers and serve people with community residential options. Group homes still remain the most popular option when it comes to residential placement outside of the family home. However, group home size is one area that has come under increased scrutiny.

May 21, 2016

The Differences Between Case Managers and Social Workers


Case managers are often confused with social workers. I’ve had clients for years that thought that I was their social worker instead of their case manager. When I explain that I’m the case manager and not the social worker I often get a confused look in response. Case managers are also referred to as other titles such as case workers and service coordinators. There are some similarities and there are many areas where the two jobs overlap. It really depends on the type of case manager or social work position. Both require similar educational backgrounds but specific job duties can differ depending on the services provided.

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