Introduction to Case Management

Picture a morning for a modern, middle-class, single-parent family. Between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., the father starts a load of laundry, dresses the toddler, makes breakfast, and packs lunches for three children. All the while, he is checking e-mail on his phone and preparing for a 7:30 a.m. conference call.

Like the running of a single-parent household, case management requires the ability to multitask. Case managers work with multiple cases at one time, each consisting of one or more clients with unique backgrounds and needs. This requires case managers to fulfill a variety of roles, and to choose from an array of case management models to meet the needs of their clients. Do you have the passion and energy to fulfill the responsibilities required of case managers? How might aspects of your personality help you to succeed in a career as complex as this?

This week begins your exploration into the world of case management. You examine roles required of case managers. You also evaluate various case management models in relation to client needs.


By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • Analyze roles of case managers
  • Analyze aspects of case management
  • Evaluate various case management models
  • Apply case management models

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Frankel, A. J. & Gelman, S. R., & Pastor, D. K. (2019). Case management: An introduction to concepts and skills (4th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

  • Chapter 1, “The Evolution of Case Management Practice”
  • Chapter 2, “Overview of Case Management Practice”
  • Chapter 3, “The Roles of a Case Manager”

Arnold, E. M., Walsh, A. K., Oldham, M. S., & Rapp, C. A. (2007). Strengths-Based case management: Implementation with high-risk youth. Families in Society, 88(1), 86-94.


Cait, C. (2006). A relational psychoanalytic model for case management: A literature review. Psychoanalytic Social Work, 13(1), 67-83. 


Greene, G., et al. (2006).  A solution-focused approach to case management and recovery with consumers who have a severe mental disability. Families in Society, 87(3), 339-350.


Required Media

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Case management for persons in need. Baltimore, MD: Author.


  • “Virtual Client Case Files.”

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Case management for persons in need. Baltimore, MD: Author.


  • “Virtual Client Case Files.”

    Click to access the Course Media transcript: Virtual Client Case Files transcript

Optional Resources

Brun, C., & Rapp, R. C. (2001). Strength-based case management: Individuals’ perspectives on strengths and the case manager relationship. Social Work46(3), 278–288.


Hicks-Coolick, A., Kirk, A. B., Madden, L. L. (2002). An Empowerment Model for Social Welfare Consumers: Its Effectiveness and Implications for Welfare Reform. Lippincott’s Case Management. 7(3), 129-136.


Naleppa, M. J., & Reid, W.J. (1998) Task-centered case management for the elderly: Developing a practice model. Research on Social Work Practice8(1), 63–85.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). (2011). Treatment and services: Assertive Community Treatment (ACT). Retrieved from


Wright-Berryman, J. L., McGuire, A. B., & Salyers, M. P. (2011). A review of consumer-provided services on assertive community treatment and intensive case management teams: Implications for future research and practice. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association17(1), 37–44.

Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services, Community Health Services, Mental Health Services. (2008). Resource manual: Assertive case management—A proactive approach. Retrieved from

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (2005). Intensive case management service standards for mental health services and supports. Retrieved from

The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, Office of Mental Health Research and Training. (2012). Strengths-based case management. Retrieved from



Discussion: The Case Management Process

Case management is a relatively new profession in the field of human services. Those who work in this profession ideally demonstrate competence in a variety of areas. There are many roles of case managers, including demonstrating leadership, building relationships, advocating for clients, and coordinating services for clients who need them. Case managers use leadership skills to motivate disparate parties toward achieving a common goal. By establishing professional relationships within the community, case managers coordinate comprehensive treatment and intervention plans for each of their clients.

Advocacy is one important role in case management. Many case management clients may have difficulty navigating government agencies, and they may have trouble finding resources to help with struggles they face in their day-to-day lives. Another important role of case management is working to determine the services that these clients need to help them live healthier lives. For example, some clients may have a traumatic history of family hardships. The ways in which these clients attempt to cope with their experiences may leave them out of touch with reality, homeless, or living with a drug addiction. Such populations may require assistance in accessing mental health care, securing safe living environments, and locating suitable employment.

For your first Discussion of this course, you use the Learning Resources to further examine the many roles of case managers. In your posting, you consider which roles may be most challenging for you, and which aspects of case management might best suit your personality.

To Prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review Chapter 1, “Overview of Case Management Skills.” Focus on the definition and description of case management.
  • Review Chapter 3, “The Roles of a Case Manager.” Think about the text’s descriptions of the different ways that case managers assist and empower their clients.
  • Think about what might be the most challenging role of a case manager.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post by Day 4 a brief description of the most challenging role for you as a case manager and explain why. Then explain how you might manage that challenging role. Finally, explain which aspects of case management might best suit your personality and why.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.



Assignment: Case Management Models

When case management first evolved as an occupation, there existed no models or theories from which to learn. Case managers simply observed their clients and provided services based upon their perceptions of the clients’ needs. As time went by, researchers began to organize case managers’ practices into prominent models that are used today. Some of these models include the task-centered model, assertive model, relational psychoanalytic model, empowerment model, and strengths-based model. Each case management model presents a unique approach to the case management process for a variety of clients. For example, the strengths-based model is the cornerstone on which most case management models are built. This model seeks to empower clients through attention to relationships between case managers and clients and the establishment of client autonomy. Each model can be effective with certain clients, and it is up to case managers to determine which model is most appropriate for their clients.

This week’s Course Media introduces you to three case studies that you use throughout the course. Each week, you apply new concepts to address the needs illustrated in each case.

To Prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review Chapter 2, “Overview of a Case Management Practice.” Pay particular attention to the descriptions of the case management models.
  • Review “Strength-Based Case Management: Implementation with High-Risk Youth.” Focus on the description of strengths-based case management and how the model was adapted for use with adolescents.
  • Review “A Relational Psychoanalytic Model for Case Management: A Literature Review.” Consider the relational psychoanalytic model, with its emphasis on the importance of relationships with clients.
  • Review “A Solution-Focused Approach to Case Management and Recovery with Consumers Who Have a Severe Mental Disability.” Focus on the description of the new perspective on goals for those with severe mental disabilities.
  • Select two case management models and consider their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Review the media titled Virtual Client Case Files in this week’s Learning Resources. Consider how each model might be applied to the case studies.

The Assignment (1–2 pages)

  • Briefly describe the two case management models you selected.
  • Explain two strengths and two weaknesses in the two case management models.
  • Explain how each case management model might be applied to the case studies.

By Day 7

Submit your Assignment by Day 7.

Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.


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