The job of case management involves a very large number of tasks that are often interrelated. How do you make sure all of the job’s requirements are met and help the families and children we serve?
There are tools which everyone has access to that can allow us to meet all the challenges the job of case management requires.
Organization is key to meet the demands of the job. Everyone is different and there are different ways to keep your self organized. Maybe it’s using color coding, using folders to store your work, scanning material and storing it electronically. The most important thing is to determine what works for you and do it! Use your Outlook Calendar and Mindshare to the fullest potential to help you track duties, dates, and deadlines of various tasks.
Time management is essential because if you don’t manage your time others will. Block out specific time to tackle your tasks. Make a schedule and post it in your work space so others can see your availability. Schedule tasks to match your level of energy. If something requires great concentration, schedule it for a time when you are at your peak performance.
Make a “to do” list first thing in the morning for the day ahead or last thing at the end of the day for the next day. This helps keep us focused on what needs to be accomplished. Of course emergencies happen and you may get only one task completed on a particular day but you will still know what has yet to be tackled and are less likely to let things fall through the cracks.
Prioritize the “to do” list. By prioritizing, tasks get completed and are less likely to become emergencies.
Remember the goal is to ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of the children we serve. To do this we must make sure information is available to all those involved in providing care and services for the children. The case manager becomes the one who will pull all of the pieces together while working with a family and their children. The documentation you gather provides a full picture of what is happening with a family. The case manager is often one of the first people involved who may notice a red flag because you are looking at the whole puzzle and not just one or two pieces. Putting these pieces together and making sound judgments regarding the information available are critical to the well-being of the family and children we are serving. Case managers are the professionals who are the keepers of information, have the ability to make observations and well founded recommendations and the key to a happy life for the children you serve.
Resiliency is essential and personal care can help reduce the negative affects of stress over time. Make time to do things that are sources of renewal for you such as:
· Quiet walks
· Time and space
· Social life/laughter
· Projects that rejuvenate you
Your own personal well being can have a tremendous impact on your work. Be able to separate your work and personal lives and rejuvenate yourself.