The most effective way to help someone set and achieve goals is through a strong and trusting bond between the individual served and the case manager. We begin working on this as soon as we receive a referral. Our goal is to have contact with individuals new to our services within two working days of the referral. After the initial contact, we continue to encourage frequent contact with everyone served. We maintain our connection with the people we serve through home and community visits, as well as through our open door policy toward visitors. Often, people stop by just to say hi and maybe stay for a cup of coffee while they visit with their case manager and the other employees at Connections.
Planning is our most frequently used service. Once an initial plan is in place, we consider it to be a fluid document that should be updated as individuals experience new achievements, challenges, and other changes in their lives. Planning is done with an interdisciplinary team. Although the case manager is responsible for facilitating the production of the plan, the person and family served determine the direction of the plan. It is the case manager’s job through planning to illustrate the individual’s goals, needs, strengths, wishes, achievements, preferences, and vision.
Unless a plan is put into action, it is only words on paper. Case managers participate in many activities to ensure that the people we serve are receiving services and supports in the manner they prefer. Monitoring of paid services is completed routinely throughout the year. Other activities include assisting the individual in locating and accessing services, grants, and other programs; referring individuals to resources; and providing individuals with information about disabilities and how to advocate for themselves.
Advocating for Service Improvement
Often when the case manager is developing a plan with an individual, a needed support or resource is identified, but not readily available. During those times, the case manager works with our Senate Bill 40 Board and with our local Regional Office to find new resources or to expand existing services. A recent example of this is the Partnership for Hope Waiver. The Partnership for Hope Waiver enables local Senate Bill 40 Boards to participate in a matching waiver with the Department of Mental Health and with Medicaid to provide services to individuals who otherwise would not likely be able to receive services. This has enabled them to access services that include personal assistance; day, behavioral, and employment services; medical supplies and equipment; home modifications; and transportation