About case managers
Case managers support the health and wellbeing of people who have many and complex needs by coordinating services and support for these people. They can work with individuals, children and families.
Case managers come from many different professional backgrounds. They might be psychologists, social workers, nurses or occupational therapists. They might also have a background in disability studies.
Why your child might see a case manager
Case managers support you if your child or family has additional or complex needs. This might include when a child or parent has a disability or mental illness, is homeless or has special circumstances like child protection needs.
Case managers can be a big help when you’re dealing with lots of different professionals and services, which can be very stressful. A case manager can also help you find and get services or support that you might not have known about by yourself.
A case manager will help you:
- work out what goals you have for your child and family
- make a plan that suits your family’s needs
- work with you to put the plan into action.
With your consent, a case manager can speak to other services and professionals to help you get the care and services you need. This can also help prevent doubling up on services that do the same thing or overloading you with appointments.
You don’t need a GP referral to see a case manager, but your GP is always a good place to start if you’re worried about your child’s health or development. Your GP can help you decide whether it will help to see a case manager and also help you find someone who’s right for your child and family.
Before seeing a case manager
Before seeing a case manager, it’s a good idea to find out about the following things:
- Why you’re going to the case manager: how can a case manager help your family?
- Waiting list: how long before you can get an appointment to see the case manager?
- Making an appointment: do you need to make the appointment or will someone make it for you?
- Is there anything you can do or any services you can use while you’re waiting to get an appointment?
- Cost: how much will the appointment with the case manager cost? Some services are free. Other services might be expensive, so it’s good to know the costs before you go. Check whether you can get money back from Medicare or private health insurance or whether you can get some other kind of financial help.
- Location: find out where you have to go to see the case manager – for example, a public or private hospital, or consulting rooms. You might have to travel further than you expect, depending on your child’s needs.
Before your appointment with the case manager, you could go through these and any other questions with your GP or the person who referred you. You can also contact the services and ask them. It’s a good idea to write down your questions, so you don’t forget.