Home' Community Care Review : CCR Jan-Feb 2015 Contents what skills and knowledge they would need
to work in the changing social care world.
Knowledge across financial
management, My Aged Care, NDIS, cultural
issues, language, new tools, marketing, duty
of care and human rights, as well as being
creative thinkers and solutions-focused,
were just some of the skills identified.
Kathy Day, vice chair of the Case
Management Society of Australia (CMSA)
-- the peak body for professionals in case
management roles -- supports Fine's view
that community care risks losing skilled
case managers as a result of the changes
and uncertainty under the CHSP.
"They are already losing them with
the introduction of consumer directed
care. Some organisations are changing
their model to fewer case managers and
higher caseloads, replacing some case
managers with service co-ordinators and
administration staff. Others are watching
the industry and considering the model
they need to move to," Day tells CCR.
However, Day doesn't think it is
necessarily a hit to the profession of case
management as a whole, but says it is
detrimental to the sector. "It is a concern
if you just look at aged care, but CMSA
includes case managers from all sectors, not
just aged care.
"We don't want to lose them from the
aged care sector but if they want to be
employed -- and potentially the roles they
want in the sector they are in won't exist
-- they will either have to skill themselves
to move within the sector or look at other
sectors and options."
Day suggests case managers be
proactive about their careers and, if needed,
look for training courses to broaden their
options and possibly look to moving into
the other sectors of case management, such
as other health or community fields.
Key skills include knowing about advocacy
in all its forms, a good understanding of
person-centred care including reablement,
high-level care planning, goal setting and
budget management, she says.
"It is about getting familiar and
educated. There's information available on
training courses by peak industry bodies
and CMSA runs certification courses
now. People have to create their own
opportunities today. If they don't create
them by doing these things, then they
probably do have a worry."
This was a key topic among case managers
at the Newcastle forum, who discussed the
need to adapt and how to go about it.
Community Options Australia is
committed to shaping where it and its case
managers are going, says Maree O'Rourke,
the peak's executive director.
"We have invested significantly in
training because we believe that our
workforce is skilled but they need to learn to
be resilient and diverse and spread that skill
set," she says.
A valuable service type
Meanwhile, as the sector waits to hear
how case management will feature in the
CHSP, there is wide support for transitional
funding, including from Fine and O'Rourke
[see related story, page 18], as well as hope
for its long-term future -- although not
Fine is calling for at least five years
of transitional funding to 2020 for case
management in home support, and a
commitment to expand and accelerate the
replacement of alternative case management
packages in consumer directed care.
DSS told CCR in December that it "will
provide further detail on the transition
arrangements for both clients and service
most interesting development in service
organisation in the last 50 or 60 years."
Similarly, Day believes there is a need
for case management in the CHSP to
continue, largely due to the program's
"It should probably still be in there much
like it is now. For those that really need to
access it, they should be able to within the
Day says a reablement model needs
elements of case management so people
can be linked into the support services
they require and monitored where needed.
While some people will be able to navigate
There are about 10 to 12,000 people working
in this industry at the moment who might lose
their jobs and that would be a tragedy.
providers in the coming weeks" and that it
was still "working to identify and address any
potential service gaps that may be created
in the transition to the RAS undertaking
assessments, case management and
client care coordination. This includes
investigating whether some services should
be reclassified to direct service delivery
under the CHSP."
Transitional funding aside, Fine says
there is an argument for case management
in the CHSP on a permanent basis and that
it could be included in a clever way.
"It is a valuable service type. It shouldn't
be wasted. Not everybody needs case
management on a permanent basis. Some
people need it as an initial arrangement
when they first get in contact with
services. Other people can be using case
management as an information service,
where through telephone and internet you
link up and they are guiding you," he says.
"It doesn't always have to be exactly
the same full-time commitment to case
management that we have known in the
past but we need to think of how it can be
made a part of the home support program
or we would be wasting what's clearly the
and organise things in the way they want
themselves, others won't, she adds.
"There are a lot of people out there
that can't do that. It is beyond them now.
It is really difficult for older people. They
get confused with the system the way it
is now, with the assistance of HACC case
management in there. They will be more
confused without it," Day says.
However, she's not optimistic it will
happen because much is still unclear about
how the model will roll out in Victoria. And
she can't say she is hopeful, unless case
managers in the sector are recognised for
their expertise, skills and knowledge.
"It disappoints and frustrates me when
the value of case management is not
recognised and people do not understand
what a case manager does," Day says.
As a result it is not respected to the
level it should be, she says. "They know the
system. They know the contacts. A huge
part of their work is to network and to know
who to contact and when. They know where
they may be able to access additional extra
funding. They know where to apply and how
to apply. There is nothing that is necessarily
outside their scope." n
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