What is a Case Manager?
Case managers help provide an array of services to help individuals and families cope with complicated situations in the most effective way possible, thereby achieving a better quality of life. They help people to identify their goals, needs, and resources. From that assessment, the case manager and the client—whether an individual or a family—together formulate a plan to meet those goals. The case manager helps clients to find resources and facilitates connection with services. Sometimes she or he advocates on behalf of a client to obtain needed services. The case manager also maintains communication with the client to evaluate whether the plan is effective in meeting the client’s goals.
This sounds good, but I’m not sure about the term case manager. Do case managers really manage people? I don’t want to lose control, and I’m not a case.
Excellent question. A good case manager will work with you to determine what is important to you and what you think would be the most effective way to reach those goals. Case managers don’t manage people—they help people to manage complicated situations. Simply put, they help to keep you, or your loved ones, at the center of services being provided on your behalf.
Care management and care coordination are two other terms sometimes used to describe this work. Different organizations and individuals define these terms in different ways; for example, professionals providing services to older adults often call themselves geriatric care managers. The terms case management and case manager are used in this site for the sake of simplicity, but the information also applies to care management and care coordination.