What Does a Case Manager Do?

A case manager may help children, individuals with disabilities, the elderly, and the chronically ill coordinate social and health care services. If such work sounds interesting to you, read on to learn more about the job duties of case managers. Schools offering Addictions & Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

The Case Management Society of America explains that case managers are health care or social service professionals who assess their clients' needs and help them access the appropriate services (www.cmsa.org). Some of the areas where case managers may work are outlined below.

Important Facts About Case Managers

Job Outlook (2012-2022) 21% growth
Required Education Bachelor's Degree
Key Skills Interpersonal communication, leadership, organization, conflict resolution
Similar Occupations Community health worker, probation officer, substance abuse counselor

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Rehabilitation

A rehabilitation case manager works with people who have mental health disorders or brain injuries. After assessing clients' abilities, needs, or interests, case managers develop a course of action to help them live independently. As a rehabilitation case manager, you may find yourself locating affordable housing and coordinating the services of health care professionals. You may also work with your clients' employers to ensure the proper human resources paperwork is in place or that accommodations have been made to help them manage their disabilities.

Health Care

Case managers who work in a health care setting are often nurses or other health care professionals who chart a patient's progress during a hospital stay. Their clients are typically patients with chronic illnesses and acute medical conditions. If you choose to work in this field, you may counsel patients on the self-care necessary for managing their health. You also work with elderly patients and their families to ensure quality care is provided during their stay in an assisted living facility.

Child Welfare

Child welfare case managers work with a state's Child Protective Services (CPS) program or a private, non-profit agency. Case workers in this field make initial assessments of a family's situation following reports of abuse or neglect, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (www.childwelfare.gov). You then place children in foster care to ensure their safety. Child welfare case managers can also establish goals for a family following a CPS intervention. As a case worker, you also provide court testimony and coordinate mediation, drug testing, or transportation services.

Salary Information

According to PayScale.com, case managers in general typically earn between $27,897 and $68,894 a year, as of September 2015. Case managers can expect a noticeable pay increase when they advance into leadership roles, such as Director of Case Management, which has an average salary around $86,000.

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