Caseworker (social work)
In social work, a caseworker is a type of social worker who is employed by a government agency, non-profit organization, or other group to take on the cases of individuals and provide them with advocacy, information or other services.
Social case work
Social case work is the method employed by social workers to help individuals find solution to problems of social adjustment which they are unable to handle in a satisfactory way by their own efforts (Florence Hollis, 1954).
Social casework, is a primary approach and method of social work, concerned with the adjustment and development of the individual and, in some instances couples, towards more satisfying human relations. In Social case work relationship is the medium through which changes are brought in the behaviour and personality of the client. The social casework relationship is the dynamic interaction of attitudes and emotions between the social caseworker and the client with the purpose of satisfying the clients psychosocial needs to achieve a better intrapersonal (interactions and transactions) adjustment by the client within the respective environment. Psychosocial assessment is a key tool used in casework, it is the initial assessment of client's current, relevant past and possible future modes of adaptation to stressful situations and normal living situations. Problem solving is the intend behind every social casework process', the caseworker doesn't solve the problem for the client, but helps the person in the situation to be equipped in solving or facing the problem adequately within the individual's weaknesses and strengths to the end of overall development.
- Every individual has inherent worth and dignity.
- Every individual has the right to self-determination.
- Every individual is the primary concern of society, has potential for and the right to growth.
- Every individual, in turn, has to contribute to the society's development by assuming his social responsibility.
- The individual and society in which one lives are interdependent.
- Basic human needs have to be met by services which are not dependent upon in accord either to moral behaviour or to race, nationality, caste ...etc.
- Intake and Rapport building
- Clinical exploration of the problem
- Intervention/ Treatment
- Monitoring and Evaluation
- Follow-up and Termination
Case management is a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual's health needs through communication and available resources to promote qualitative cost effective outcomes. Here health needs is defined within the social model of health which includes addressing the social and environmental determinants of health-the psycho-social, recreational, cultural and language needs in tandem with physical/biological and medical factors.
Department of Children and Families, United States recommends no more than 12–15 open/active cases and 8–10 new referrals per month when it comes to caseload and efficient management of workload. This post-2008 allocation of caseload management showed 90% efficiency in services and quality of practice by Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), 2009. A general work load hours that takes for Case management is 3.30 hrs in which 1.45 hrs takes for case intake; Traditional individual – family assessment takes 3.45 hrs – 12.45 hrs as per Minnesota Workload Analytics for evidence based stabilizing and strengthening the workforce. To increase handling caseloads over-hiring and expanding employee benefits is a practice used by social services. Though Arizona's Department of Economic Security surveys show increasing caseloads alone above 35 cases per caseworker a month attracted repeated maltreatment reports. To reduce the caseload they focussed on expanding prevention services which showed a positive effect.
The generic phases of case management are similar to the casework process:
- Rapport building
- Psycho-social assessment
- Care Planning within the prioritization of needs
- Resource allocation
- Implementation of a plan/Service co-ordination
- Monitoring & review
- Termination/Closure or re-assessment
In case management practice there are different models used:
- Case management – Assessment, monitoring, referral and coordination plus direct service role.
- Case monitoring model – Assessment, monitoring, referral and coordination only.
- Brokerage – Assessment, sub-contract/support services, monitor outcomes.
- Advocacy – Assessment, advocate for services, monitor outcomes.
- Managerial case management – Reviewing assessment and management plans submitted by caseworkers, monitoring costs, authorizing expenditure.
Multicultural prevalence and acceptability
Caseworkers are employed by a large number of organizations in Britain, especially in the voluntary and public sectors. In the United States, most government agencies that provide social services to children in poor or troubled families have a staff of caseworkers, each of whom is assigned a proportion of the cases under review at any given time. In Australia, caseworkers may be assigned to work in child protection, drug and alcohol services or community health organizations. As of 2004, there were approximately 876,000 child welfare caseworkers in the United States. Seventy-two percent are women, and the mean salary for all caseworkers was $64,590.
- Virginia Robinson, A Changing Psychology in Social Case Work, 1939
- Helen Harris Perlman, Social Casework: A Problem-Solving Process, 1957
- National Standards of Practice for Case Management, cmsa.org.au
- "What Is Case Management". www.cmsa.org.au. Case Management Society of Australia. 13 March 2012. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
- Human Services Manual, NSW Govt
- The Unsolved Challenge of System Reform p. 41
- Foster Care: Voices from the Inside Archived October 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- Friedlander, W.A. (1958), Concept and Methods of Social Work; Prentice Hall, MC, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
- Hamilton, Gorden (1956), Theory and Practice of Social Case Work; Columbia University Press, New York.
- Richmond, Mary (1922), What is Social Case Work, The Russell Sage Foundation, New York.
- Sheafor, B.W. (1997), Techniques and Guidelines for Social Work Practice, Allyn and Bacon, London.
- Mortimer, J.T., & Shanahan, M.J. (2003) Handbook of the Life Course, Springer US, New York.
- Marianne R. Woodside, & Tricia McClam (2014) Generalist Case Management, Cengage Learning, Kentucky.
- Case Management Society of America, Standards of practice for case management
- Self-care and Case Management in Long-term Conditions
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