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Caseload management

Caseload management refers to working with a number of people (clients, employees, students etc) over a period of time. You will be expected to effectively support and address the needs of the people as part of your caseload management. How you do it depends on the service delivery method adopted by your organisation. Some organisations deliver services in groups, one to one or in collaboration with others.

Quality assurance should be at the heart of the service delivery. It should not just be a tick box exercise but a commitment to provide support that can inspire (where relevant), comfort and facilitate change. You should strive to address individual needs and be enthusiastic as a practitioner.

As part of caseload management you need to be realistic and ensure you have capacity and the ability to support the people under your care. There is a risk of providing a poor service when you cannot attend to the needs of the people under your care due to a heavy work schedule. Another risk is the impact on the quality of service you will provide. For example you might find yourself with very little time to focus on individual needs if there is no sufficient dedicated time available. Remember, your clients will also be observant and might also view this as a lack of interest and care on your part.

We will now discuss some points that have an impact on your caseload management.

You will need to consider a number of factors as part of your caseload management. This might include prioritising based on your organisational assessment criteria. Here you might consider how dire a situation is. For example when poor health is involved, fixed deadline or a risk of harm. Priority might need to be taken in this situation.

The cycle point of your caseload management might play a role. For example a new case might require more time initially compared to an older case where everything is already in place. When starting with a new client a lot of time might be spent carrying out risk assessments, gaining consent and putting everything in place such as setting up the client on your recording systems.

Another factor include the complexity of the case. Some cases might require you to work with others. For example when multi-disclipanary working is required. Your input could be influenced by others. Your job role might also play. Some practitioners have a statutory duty of care, which might not apply, to those who work in private or voluntary sectors. For example if you are working in a health and social care environment as an advisor you might be expected to take a back seat when medical personnel are involved. Sometimes you might also be impacted by a lack of access to specialist support. For example when an interpreter is needed.

Availability of resources might also play a part. Some cases might be easier to manage when you are able to utilise technology such as web conferences, telephones, mobile phones, and the Internet compared to other situations where other clients might not have access to these.

Consider the impact of funding and current economic climate. A client might be waiting for funding which might result in you having to keep them on the books for a longer time.

It is also important for you to consider your skills and expertise, as this will have an impact on managing your caseload. With experience you will know the best way to intervene when it comes to certain situations. Your management skills will play a major role. For example planning and keeping your appointments. You should constantly keep an eye on your caseload, reviewing and evaluating regularly. You should be able to use your recording and data inputting equipment. It will be essential for you to know the resources, information and services that are available to your clients.

Another impact would involve the support systems in place within your organisation. Without support from senior management it might be difficult to get certain decisions approved.

They are also restrictions based on your job role. Remember not to over familiarise or over step on your boundaries. It is important you remain grounded and professional at all times.