The Role of a Care Manager
Care Managers are an integral part of every Care Management Organization and work directly with the youth and family being supported by a CMO. One of their main focuses is to develop a partnership with the family and ensure their needs are addressed and met.
To create this partnership, Care Managers use the Wraparound Model of Care, which is a strength-based, team approach that relies on ten core principles. Care Managers use these principles to ensure the family’s voice is heard, that a support system is in place for the youth, and that each care plan is custom designed around that youth’s unique strengths and needs.
After meeting and working with the family and youth, a Care Manager will put together a comprehensive care plan for the youth geared around their strengths and supports. This plan is comprised of the family’s vision, strengths list, needs, and strategies.
- Family vision: This identifies the family’s hopes and dreams and where they see themselves from six months to a year.
- Strengths List: Describes the abilities, skills, knowledge, and resources of the youth, parent(s)/caregivers(s), and other members of the Child-Family Team. Those strengths then become the basis for building strategies in the care plan.
- Needs: The needs of the youth and family are identified based on life domains such as mental health, safety, vocational, education, housing, legal, financial, and other relevant areas.
- Strategies: The strategies become the specific ways the Child and Family Team is going to address the youth and family’s needs and may include referrals to community resources and supports.
When a family first becomes involved with a CMO, the Care Manager develops a crisis plan with them within one week of the referral and the initial care plan within a month. Care plans are living documents that are reviewed and revised on an ongoing basis by the Child Family Team as they work with the youth and family, while assessing progress and challenges. The families and Care Manager have weekly contact, including in-person or virtual meetings, and they often work together for between 12-18 months.
Another major function of a Care Manager is coordinating the appropriate care for each youth. They maintain relationships with other system partners such as mental health providers and community-based resources and work closely with them to ensure the necessary care is being coordinated and carried out.
To learn more about working with a Care Manager, contact NJCMO today.