What is a Case Coordinator in Social Work?

 Case Coordinator in Social WorkOften, following the greeting by the receptionist at the Department of Social Services, the first worker clients meet is the case coordinator in social work. That social worker will not take on the case personally, but will assign another worker to it depending upon the needs represented. Although both of these professionals are social workers, the focus of their jobs is different.

What is a Case Coordinator in Social Work?

The position is also known as the case manager, and the responsibility of this individual is addressing the client needs in the light of the resources available in the social services system. According to the Houston Chronicle , case managers assess psychosocial and biological needs of the client, then work to ensure that these needs are met within agency budgets. That means looking toward eventual discharge, so self-help skills are a prime focus of the case manager.

What are the Duties of a Case Manager?

The National Association of Social Workers site says that these workers approach the case from a micro-macro point of view. They look at things like client resources and how to maximize them as well as what is available through the local area and the state to solve the client issues in his environment. Case mangers work with a number of other professionals in a supervisory position to coordinate client interventions. Sometimes this means assessing what client insurance pays for and making sure claims are filed. Case managers may also work with therapists to move the client toward leaving the system successfully. They help caseworkers locate appropriate resources and even interface with schools or hospitals. They do not usually engage in individual counseling and direct service. In the case of an elderly client with many needs, the case manager might assess he will need at-home care when he is released from the hospital, counseling to help him reconcile an altered physical state, transportation to and from appointments, some type of socialization and other things that are provided by many resources. The manager coordinates the services so that he is not scheduled for counseling at the same time he has physical therapy and also decides which state-provided resources he qualifies for.

How Can You Become a Case Coordinator?

The minimum education required is a bachelor’s degree because that is the requisite for licensure. In 2000, however, the National Association of Social Workers introduced a new credential: The C-ASWCM. To qualify for that title, people must have a master’s degree, twenty hours of relevant continuing education hours, 3000 hours of paid post- MSW work experience and be a licensed social worker. The average salary for this position is $49, 369 to $59,392. Professionals working in hospitals or health care facilities earned the most.

Related Resource: Foster Care Recruiter

Case managers are a vital part of the helping network that allows individuals in the social service system to regain their independence and take control of their lives once more. With economic constraints, however, the agencies must make the best use of the resources they have. Some people are perpetual clients, and the goal of the caseworker is to maintain that person in the most cost-efficient method while allowing some autonomy. The job of the case coordinator in social work, however, is to manage the resources and personnel to restore clients to wellness, both physical and emotional.