Casemanagement can be traced back to the beginning of the twentiethcentury when case managers provided care in several areas whilecontaining the cost. It mainly occurred through coordination ofservices available for the wider society, such as health. Late in the1920s, case management in social work emerged and later theblossoming of nurses, leading to their employment as case managers toassist the wounded soldiers returning from the Second World War. Thepractice is still relevant to the case managers in the modern day.The significant change, however, took place in the 1980s after healthinsurers developed management programs for those injured incatastrophes, with the focus being on containment of cost. The roleof the case manager, therefore, became one to assess, monitor, plan,advocate and linking of the consumers with necessary rehabilitationservices, support and relapse prevention in the event of drugaddicts. Case management, therefore, is client -driven as it centerson the needs of the client and there is an overriding belief that theclients should be in the lead in identifying the required resources.The case managers use their skills and expertise to determine theavailable options for the customer though the client`s right ofself-determinations is upheld. Case management is community-based asthey help the clients negotiate with various agencies within thecommunities. The integration of formalized services with informalcare and resources is paramount. Such resources include family andfriends, church and self-help groups.
GEDgrant-funded program focused on the most vulnerable youths aged 16 to24 years, who were unemployed after dropping out of school. Theobjective of the program was to prepare youth for gainful employmentthrough equipping them with post-secondary education skills for easyintegration into the entire society. It was also aimed at instillingthe teenagers with life survival skills so that they could beindependent and self-reliant
Thefirst stage involved screening youth to assess if all they weregenuinely vulnerable in need of help. The screening includedclassifying them regarding needs and skills with an objective toestablish the kind of aid that each of them needed. Individual needswere based on the talents and potential of each of them. Theirinterest was also determined so that those interested in advancingabilities and skills were identified in a bid to gauge capability insports, music, acting and other activities which could equallyprovide incomes. A multidimensional program had to be created that.Stakeholders included were Family, educators, employers, communityleaders, and various institutions. For example, a partnership withNational Fatherhood association would provide mentorship and lifeskills to young fathers and mothers who could not afford healthcareand education for themselves and loved ones. There was also a planfor the homeless, hungry and the malnourished. The proposal wasprovided to the benefactors for consideration. The document wascomprehensive and clearly detailed the plan which expressed theenthusiasm for advocacy. The report also mentioned how the quality,cost-effectiveness, and outcomes would be monitored to ensure thatthey adhered to the goals set at the beginning. The document alsodetailed how the mobilized resources would be prudently managed tomeet expectations of all the stakeholders. It is significant to pointout that the program aimed to cater for 100 youths each year andhence required substantial funding. Among the organizations willingto collaborate in the program were UPMC Children and CommunityCollege of Allegheny County. Meeting these goals helped the casemanager develop a good working relationship and efficiently engagethe clients.
Theprogram was efficient and had a profound impact on the lives of manyyoung adults from poor and broken families. A dedicated staff teamconsisting of job Developers and Instructors ensured that the youthswere assisted in all the fronts. The teens could work as theyattended classes to enhance their economic fortunes. With the successof the program from the initial stages, more youths from variousneighborhoods were interested in joining the program. They had tomake a formal application and would be subjected to a rigorousscreening and assessment to find out if they deserved to be in theprogram. Skills and competency levels were also gauged to determinetheir entry points before they could be admitted into the program.The process applied in the initial batch of the youths was alsoapplied to all following groups so that entry requirements werestandardized to eradicate any elements of biases. In the entireevaluation, the interests of the youths were paramount and determinedthe program they would enter. To ensure the success of the program,effective monitoring and benchmarking systems were put in places sothat assessment was conducted at each level. Appropriate interventionmeasures were adopted whenever challenges emerged to ensure that theprogram adhered to its goals. Use of benchmarks was also applied toensure that best practices from similar successful programsinfluenced the decisions made and guided in the management of theprogram. Incentive programs were introduced as a motivation strategyto the entire team for all the accomplished achievements. Theprogram was also reviewed to ensure that assignments completed ontime. The participants also had to adhere to all the programs outsidethe classroom. The students were provided with course outlines at thebeginning of each learning program so that they conducted research intheir own private time. The instructors, on the other hand, ensuredthat the students were continuously evaluated to assess theirprogress at every level. Regular feedback mechanisms did to make surethat the youths were aware of their progress so that they couldimprove on all areas of weakness. The system was learner-center inthe Sense that the teachers acted merely as instructors while thestudents conducted own research to maximize learning. It was onlywhen extra support and clarification was required that the professorsintervened.
Studentsreported every fortnight to review instructors` feedback and todetermine if they needed additional supports or unresolved challengesthat could hamper desired outcomes. Throughout the period, thestudents acquired Job Skills, participated in various workshops, andwere equipped with Financial Literacy skills and Parenting Workshops.They learned computer skills while guest speakers were invited fromtime to time to motivate and mentor them. Employers from variousfields were invited too, to provide the youths with vital informationabout available opportunities in the labor market, together with thespecific requirements for each sector. Introduction to computers andthe internet were some of the courses offered. Upon completion of theprogram, there were follow-ups to ensure that the youths had a smoothtransition as they joined the actual field of work. Frequentcommunication was employed to assess the progress they were makingafter the training program. Most of those who benefited from theprogram were quite appreciative and stayed in touch even aftercompletion.
Monitoringand intervention mechanisms were clearly in place to assess theprogress of the program .the program also had clear feedbackmechanisms so gauge the perceptions of the outsiders the studentsbenefitted from a budget of $180,000 per year, and it would be properto say that it impacted a lot of lives. Rapid response with potentialremedies was instrumental in building trust and cementing therelationship between the students and program staff. Students whohad gone through the program were interviewed about their experiencesas a way of assessing the effectiveness of the program.
Duringthe 14 years as Coordinator of the program, 3,000 youth in theMon-Valley area and Allegheny County went through the program, withmany graduating to become Nurses, Teachers, and federal workers. They would come back as guest speakers to motivate and mentor theothers. Paid-up Work activities were set up at Mercy Hospital, YMCA,and Red Cross, to equip the youth with experiences through internshipprograms.Volunteer programs at local libraries, shelters, and manynonprofits organizations initiated. Collaborations required trust andgood will to convince all the stakeholders about the benefits of theprogram. The program helped so many youths who would come back tomotivate the continuing students through encouragements and othersupport systems. The experience has proved that well managed andfocused cases could go a long way to transforming societies.
Asa Conclusion, Any case management requires clear objectives to beachieved within a given time frame. Assessments, planning,implementation, coordination, monitoring and evaluation systemsprevailed to ensure efficient case management. Quality, costeffectiveness should be adhered to ,so that the program can achievethe intended purpose. A little effort by an individual could go along way towards transforming a society or community. Focus,planning, and effective implementation are the pillars that can bringthe desired change.