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The Case For Case Management

Why wrap around services make all the difference.

By Esther Kay, December 11, 2021

What is case management?

Case Management can mean many different things, which is why it is usually misunderstood, and often underutilized on the homeless service front.

Oftentimes a “case manager” can mean someone who simply collects data on people experiencing homelessness, or someone who simply hands out sandwiches.

I personally thought what made an effective case manager was someone with superpowers, who had to have a masters degree and years of experience working in multiple levels of healthcare.

Boy was I wrong!

What truly makes a great case manager (At least in my experience) Is someone who simply cares.

At Camp Hope we have developed a revolutionary case management style, one that promotes independence, self identification of need and accountability for follow through.

Why Case Management Matters

What we have found at our organization is that people experiencing homelessness have had one of two experiences with case managers from other organizations:

  1. They have either provided them with next to NO help, or resources and have simply handed them a list of places to call and a sandwich, OR…

  2. They had a case manager that did EVERYTHING for them, so there was no ownership in achieving goals, or milestones and therefore any change was unsustainable because it didn’t matter to the person experiencing homelessness.

At Camp Hope our case managers have combined and created a new style of case management which involves using a collaborative approach with the person experiencing homelessness to assess needs, challenges and goals. By involving the client in their own assessment it creates a sense of ownership and accountability for the client, as well as a sense of teamwork with their case manager making them much more receptive to suggestions and next steps.

The Outcome

Our case management team has seen a high success rate from our unique approach, for example, by talking about goals and assisting the client to seek out their own resources, while simultaneously walking with them to ensure that if a task is overwhelming we are able to step in and help them troubleshoot their way through.

We have also found that this approach has a built in accountability for the client due to the fact that there will be follow up and check ins so that the client is kept on track, without doing the tasks for them.

By allowing our clients to meet challenges, while offering support when needed, our case management strategy has been very effective in helping to build confidence and independence for our clients, which has proven to be the biggest factor in their success.

Final Thoughts

We truly believe in the effectiveness of wrap around case management and would love to see this approach taken in other organizations so that we can all more effectively serve people experiencing homelessness in our community.

Here’s to the future of case management!

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