Handout 1 - Overview of Casework
Casework is one of the oldest professional forms of community service practice. Its form and focus has changed over time in response to the environment but its fundamentals remain the same.
Casework is that part of community service practice, which is concerned with assisting individuals. Within the case management model it is the component of practice which offers a direct service to individuals. In the case management model this is called counselling. However unlike therapeutic counselling, the service of casework includes everything from practical assistance, resolving a resource issue, through to interpersonal interventions to assist ...view middle of the document...
Casework is essentially a problem solving approach, using specific strategies to provide services for the client. At the client level, Casework can be defined as client centred and goal orientated directly linked to the needs of the individual.
• To simplify; Case Management is the plan for providing services/support to a client/s whereas Casework is the implementation or actual doing of that plan.
Values Underpinning Casework
1. Genuine concern for the person receiving assistance
2. A belief that it is possible for a person to change their lives
3. A willingness to work cooperatively with the person needing assistance
4. Respect for the client regardless of their culture, class, gender and history
5. Commitment to "best practice" - this includes a commitment to supervision and participating in professional development activities
6. Willingness to operate in an open and sincere way with the client
7. A belief that the cultivation of self reliance is better than rescuing the client
8. A belief that the client has the right to make their own choices and determine their own life path according to their own value system
9. A client must take responsibility for their own actions
10. Maintenance of client confidentially
• To help people to create a meaningful life for themselves fashioned from their own value system
• To resource people in a way that enables them to take responsibility for their own lives, that is to become self reliant
• To build a person self efficacy
Skills of the Case Worker
The skills of an effective Case Worker include:
• The ability to establish a relationship - engagement.
• Empathy, or the ability to see the issues from the point of view of another person.
• The ability to help others to obtain new perspectives on themselves, and their problems.
• Effective listening skills - this includes responding in a way that lets the client know that their problems, and feelings about these problems, have been understood. This allows the client to process their own problems without becoming reliant upon the Case Worker.
• Effective questioning skills which can assist the person to explore the things that interest them and concern them.
• Needs assessment skills or the ability to analyse the client within their environment and to identify the external and internal resources need by the person to improve their lives. External resources refer to the material and social resources that must to be mobilised to meet a need or to help a client fulfil a goal. Internal resources are the personal, social and emotional skills needed by a person to become self reliant and empowered in their interactions with their environment.
• A practical understanding of the community services sector and where resources can be located and how these can be obtained.
• A conceptual understanding or a way of interpreting the issues faced by the clients using...