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REQUIRED SKILLS AND VALUES FOR EFFECTIVE CASE MANAGEMENT

There are numerous skills that case managers will use to accomplish what is needed for a client, and each case manager will develop his or her own personal style of performing those skills. Some case management skills are learned informally through life experiences while others are learned theoretically and developed through formal training. Some will be easier to master than others. In addition to a set of skills, the case manager needs to put into practice some basic values of the helping relationship. These values help the case manager ensure that actions taken demonstrate respect for those with whom the case manager works. It is often quoted that “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” The development of a helping relationship with clients and referral sources is strongly influenced by the case manager’s projection of attitudes of respect, empathy and cultural sensitivity toward others. This idea is supported by Brammer (1993) who reviewed numerous studies and concluded that the worker’s personal skill in self awareness, dedication to personal congruence and the projection of positive attitudes is as significant in helping clients as the methods that are used.1[1] When the basic case management skills and values are demonstrated, case managers are able to accomplish the tasks needed to be successful. The essential case management skills and values that will be addressed in this training are as follows:


Interviewing Skills

Communication

Teaching

Critical Thinking

Negotiation and Collaboration

Advocacy

Termination of Case Management Services

Choice and Self-determination

Cultural Diversity

Quality of Life

Quality of Care
1.

Interviewing Skills:
Case managers frequently conduct interviews to obtain and provide information needed to carry out the case management process. Interviews may be conducted face-to-face or they may occur by telephone or in writing. The method used to conduct the interview may be set by program policy and procedures. In other situations, it may be a choice the case manager can make based on the method that would be most effective and efficient to meet the objectives of the interview. 1[1]

Woodside, M. & McClam, T.(1998). Generalist Case Management. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole, p. 113.

An interview may be conducted with only one other person or it may include a group of individuals, such as a family. Some interview techniques used may vary based on the individuals involved in the interview. For instance, an interview with the child will require a different approach than an interview with a senior adult.

Regardless of the method used, the case manager would be wise to prepare for the interview. Preparation will help insure that the goals of the interview are met, that the flow of the interview is organized and purposeful, and that the length of the interview is no longer than necessary. It can also help build the case manager’s level of confidence. The following are some pointers to assist with preparing for the interview.








Know the purpose of the interview and what needs to be accomplished. What is the expected outcome?
Outline for yourself the information that needs to be provided and obtained. Gather all forms that need to be completed or signed during the interview and make a bullet list of questions that need to be asked.

Educate yourself regarding the key facts and topics to be discussed during the interview. Gather factual information that may be helpful.
Be aware of your own personal biases about the interview as they may sway the outcome. Be careful to approach the interview with an open mind. Dress in a manner that is appropriate for the location of the interview and the standards set by the case management employer.

Make an appointment for the interview, if possible. This demonstrates respect and helps insure that the...
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