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. Some case managers have backgrounds in disability studies.
Case managers are employed in government, non-government and community organisations. These include hospitals and community health centres, early intervention services, immigration services, aged care services, family support agencies, child protection programs and family violence services.
Why you or your child might see a case manager
Case managers support children and families with additional or complex needs. This might include when children or parents have a disability or mental illness, are homeless or have special circumstances like child protection needs.
Case managers can be a big help when you’re dealing with a lot of different professionals and services, which can be 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 avoid 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 things like the following:
- Why you’re going: how can a case manager help your family?
- Making an appointment: do you need to make the appointment or will someone make it for you? Does the appointment need to be in person, or can it be via telehealth?
- Waiting lists: how long before you can get an appointment to see the case manager?
- Is there anything you can do or any services you can use while you’re waiting for the appointment? For example, can you or your child start some therapy while you’re waiting? It’s also good to know who to contact if your family’s needs change while you’re waiting for the appointment.
- Costs: how much will the appointment with the case manager cost? Some services are free, so it’s good to know the costs before you go. Check whether you can get money back from Medicare or private health insurance. If you have a health care card, you might be eligible for reduced costs. If there’s a cost for the service that you can’t pay, you can discuss payment options with the service provider.
- Locations: find out where you have to go to see the case manager – for example, a public or private hospital, or consulting rooms.
Before your appointment with the case manager, you might want to talk about these and other issues with your GP or the person who referred you. You can also contact the case management service and ask them. It’s a good idea to write down your questions, so you don’t forget.