Developmental Services - Case Management Manual

Consumer/Case Manager Relationship  

One of the Case Manager's primary tasks is to assist and support the consumer in planning his/her life. The Case Manager needs to assure each consumer receives an opportunity to participate in personal planning, regardless of intellectual capacity or communication barriers.

Case Managers enjoy a very unique relationship with consumers, a relationship that is in large part determined by the needs of the individual consumer. For some consumers, the relationship needs to be supportive and non-directive, for others the Case Manager needs to assert more responsibility. The foundation of relationships between the CM and consumers lies in the CM's role in "monitoring" the consumer's well being. Monitoring is done through personal contact and phone calls to the consumer, his/her family, and involved support staff. The frequency of this contact is determined by the consumer need, request, problems, type of program, and the personal planning process. Contacts with consumers should occur in both the home and the community support/work setting. Often, there are different issues for the consumer in each environment.

During the course of the Case Managers contact with the consumer, attention
needs to be paid to the consumer's:

  1. programming/work needs
  2. physical well-being
  3. emotional well-being
  4. social well-being
  5. environment (home & work)
  6. communication with staff, family and peers

Additionally, it is important for the Case Manager to develop positive relationships with the consumer's primary support staff, family, and guardian. This will facilitate good communications to support the consumer's well being.