What Does a Caseworker Do?

caseworkerIf you have an interest in social work or healthcare, you might want details on what a caseworker does. People with this job title help individuals and families get services and care they need. Many case managers are social workers, but case managers can also be nurses or educators.

Jobs in Case Management

A caseworker can work with a wide variety of people and situations. Case management jobs in social work include jobs working with

  • Developmentally disabled adults
  • Children and families
  • Individuals with substance abuse issues
  • School children
  • The mentally ill
  • Elderly populations

Case management in the healthcare industry involves much the same work but also includes coordinating healthcare for an individual to make sure all medical needs are properly addressed, especially if that individual has multiple health concerns.

Those working in case management both as social workers and as healthcare professionals are responsible for ensuring their clients get the best possible care and are provided necessary services. Case managers for developmentally disabled adults work with a team of service providers to help their clients get needed life-skills training, appropriate employment, safe housing, transportation, and medical care. Those working with children and families help families in their caseloads apply for government assistance and find other financial and community support as needed.

Featured Social Work Programs

Skills Necessary in Case Management

To be an effective case manager, you need to be caring and compassionate while also able to set clear boundaries for your clients. You need to be able to see the best in everyone and to communicate well with clients, clients' families and caregivers. Case managers must to be able to cope with high-stress situations and have the ability to advocate for others. Many clients helped by these individuals are unable to speak for themselves or have become overwhelmed by bureaucratic red tape that has to be cut in order for them to get necessary services.

Often, case managers are called upon to respond to crisis situations such as child or elder abuse and medical emergencies. People working in this field are responsible to help clients get care, services and protection they need.

Education Required for Case Managers

To pursue a career in case work, you need at least a bachelor's degree in one of the social sciences or nursing. Many case managers also have master's degrees in social work or healthcare management. Unlike counseling social workers, not all case managers need to be licensed or certified; however, depending on your employer or your chosen specialization, you may face licensure or certification requirements. Continuing education is essential for all who work in case management to remain current on laws governing such things as public aid and client privacy.

People who care about others and want to make a difference in the world are often draw to occupations in healthcare and social work. Now that you know more about what a caseworker does, do you think it is the right career for you?