Case Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

A Case Manager, or Social Service Assistant, is responsible for helping those with chronic illness, mental health issues or life-altering conditions to gain access to rehabilitation programs and other community services. Their duties include meeting with clients and their families, connecting clients with professional services and maintaining consistent communication with clients to assess their wellbeing and make changes to their treatment plan as needed.

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Case Manager duties and responsibilities

Case Managers perform several tasks to achieve the best outcomes for their clients. These duties usually involve working with their clients directly and often working with the clients’ family members and close friends and health care workers. Responsibilities vary depending on the Case Manager’s industry and employer, but they may include:

  • Assessing clients’ physical and mental wellness, needs, preferences and abilities and using these to develop tailored care plans
  • Working with clients, family and friend support networks and health care professionals to put care plans in place
  • Listening to clients’ concerns and providing counseling or intervention as required
  • Recording clients’ progress including charting referrals, home visits and other notable interactions
  • Evaluating clients’ progress periodically and making adjustments as needed to improve outcomes
  • Following up with discharged clients to ensure they were satisfied with services and they are still in good physical and mental health
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What does a Case Manager do?

Case Managers typically work for government agencies or hospitals to help people across a variety of age groups with mental and physical conditions. They act as an advocate for their client’s health and make sure they receive the right care for their situation. Their job is to work with healthcare professionals like Doctors and Nurses to come up with a treatment plan that best fits their client’s needs. 

They also arrange transitional plans for clients to continue receiving excellent care after being discharged from the hospital. Transitional plans ensure that clients continue to improve even without the constant care provided in a hospital setting.

Case Manager skills and qualifications

A good Case Manager job description briefly details the preferred skills and qualifications for job applicants. This section should be concise and include only relevant details, yet it should be detailed enough to inform Case Managers whether they would be a good candidate for the available position. Case Managers usually have the following skills and qualifications:

  • Compassionate and able to relate to different clients with various needs
  • Motivational to encourage clients to follow their care plans
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills to explain to clients, family members and friends and professionals the case and care plan and maintain good case records
  • Critical thinking and problem solving to determine the best care plan for each client after assessing clients, analyzing notes from health care and social workers
  • Flexibility to change care plans if they are not getting the best results
  • Organization to manage several different cases at once
  • Computer literacy to maintain and manage case records

Case Manager salary expectations

Case Managers typically earn $18.65 per hour. However, salaries can vary depending on factors including the Case Manager’s experience, employer and location. Average salaries range from $7.25 to $44.85 per hour.

Case Manager education and training requirements

Case Managers require at least a bachelor’s degree. Fields of study vary depending on the field a Case Manager aspires to work in. For example, a bachelor’s degree in nursing equips Case Managers to work in the health care field. A bachelor’s degree in psychology helps Case Managers secure positions working in the mental health field. Counseling, sociology and social work are also common fields of study for Case Managers. Many employers also require candidates to hold Commission for Case Manager certification, especially in mid-level and senior Case Manager roles.

Case Manager experience requirements

Businesses hiring Case Managers typically require applicants to complete an internship. Internships, sometimes completed as part of degree programs, provide hands-on experience working in case management. In addition, unless the vacant position is for an entry-level Case Manager, organizations usually require candidates to have several years’ paid experience in a case management role.

Job description samples for similar positions

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Frequently asked questions about Case Managers

 

What are the different types of Case Managers?

There are a variety of areas for Case Managers to specialize in based on their previous work experience and interests. Here are a few examples of Case Manager specialties:

  • Mental Health Case Manager: These professionals specialize in providing treatment options and clinical resources to clients struggling with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and PTSD.
  • Registered Nurse (RN) Case Manager: This type of Case Manager works in a hospital or clinical setting. They help current patients access health insurance and develop a recovery plan for when they leave the hospital.
  • Legal Case Manager: These individuals act as a point of communication between a client and their legal team in adoption situations, criminal trials and other legal matters.
  • Social Work Case Manager: These professionals work with clients and their families to enlist them in community programs that promote their personal life and wellbeing.

 

What are the daily duties of a Case Manager?

On a typical day, a Case Manager starts by working in an office setting. They review client case files and check their schedule for any client meetings. For clients who don’t have the means to travel, Case Managers make a point to visit them at their home, hospital or assisted living facility. During client meetings, Case Managers take notes about their client’s current physical and mental state. They make sure that their clients find their existing resources useful and discuss the next stages in their treatment plan. 

Towards the end of the day, they add their notes to an ongoing report that documents their client’s progress. They also make phone calls and schedule appointments on their client’s behalf.

 

What makes a good Case Manager?

A good Case Manager is someone who uses their compassion and resourcefulness to bring positive change to their clients’ lives. They have leadership qualities that enable them to act as a person of authority to their clients. This is important as it helps give clients a sense of direction and guidance when they cannot provide it for themselves. Further, a good Case Manager has excellent verbal communication skills that allow them to give advice to their clients, schedule appointments and speak on behalf of their clients to healthcare providers and government services.

 

Who does a Case Manager report to?

A Case manager typically reports to the Director of Case Management in a hospital or social services facility. The Director of Case Management assigns Case Managers to clients and holds meetings with the case management team to remind them of the best practices to help their clients.

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