The Social Worker’s Plight
Social workers and case managers are an integral part of the social welfare sector. Currently, there are over 650,000 social workers in the United States. The number is projected to grow exponentially in coming years. Despite the projected rise, there will always be far more people, all with varying needs, that request nonprofit services than social workers can easily accommodate.
Social work case management is a particularly challenging field because it requires an understanding of many different types of case management all rolled together in one. This causes social workers to spend massive amounts of time on entering in client data, time that could have been spent helping more clients receive the services they need. Further, once help can be provided and interventions are implemented, some are not successful, putting even more work on social workers’ plates.
Evidence-Based Practice and Why It’s Not Always the Best Solution
There have been innovations introduced into the nonprofit sector, namely using case management software and adding evidence-based practice into the intervention process. However, some innovations work better than others. Evidence-based practice, or a process in which the practitioner combines well-researched interventions with clinical experience, ethics, client preferences, and culture to guide and inform the delivery of treatments and services, has become a large part of nonprofit intervention models, but is it necessarily working in the way that was envisioned?
The simple answer – not completely. So, how can nonprofit organizations fix this?
Overcoming the Case Management Dilemma
The efficiency and effectiveness of case management is constantly under scrutiny. Countless social workers have asked the questions:
“What is going to create the best outcomes for our clients? How can we make sure that these outcomes happen successfully and consistently?”
In order to answer these questions, social workers, along with their leadership teams, are required to reevaluate the needs of their clients and organization, the resources available, and most importantly, the timeline in which they can roll out a new intervention model. This kind of self-reflection is key to moving ahead and delivering more mission to the people who need it most.
Social Solutions has written a new guide Producing Consistent Outcomes to Ensure Successful Interventions in order to help organizations like yours make this decision easier.
Successful interventions start with honest evaluation of an organization at all levels. Social workers have a unique responsibility of taking this information and figuring out how it will impact the front line. With simple changes, which are outlined in the guide, an organization will have confidence in the integrity of its outcomes and the success of its interventions.