About case managers
Case managers support the health and wellbeing of people who have many and complex needs by coordinating services and support for these people.
Case managers come from many different professional backgrounds. They might be psychologists, social workers, nurses or occupational therapists. They might also have a background in disability studies.
Why your child might see a case manager
Case managers support you if your child or family has special or complex needs. This might include when a child or parent has a disability or mental illness, or in special circumstances such as when child protection is needed.
Case managers can be a big help when you're dealing with lots of different professionals and services, which can be very stressful. A case manager can also help you find and get services that you might not have known about by yourself.
A case manager will help you work out what your family needs, make a plan that suits your needs, and then work with you to put the plan into action. If you're planning the care of a child, a case manager will work with you to make sure that the whole family's needs are part of the plan.
With your consent, a case manager can speak to other services and professionals to help you get the care and services you need.You don't need a GP referral to see a case manager, but your GP is always a good place to start if you're worried about your child's health or development. Your GP can help you decide about seeing a case manager and help you find someone who's right for your child.
Before going to a case manager
Before seeing a case manager, it's a good idea to find out about the following things:
- Why you're going to the case manager: talk with the person referring you about how a case manager can help your family.
- Waiting list: how long before you can get an appointment to see the case manager?
- Is there anything you can do while you're waiting to get an appointment?
- Making an appointment: it might take you more than one phone call to make an appointment.
- Cost: how much will the appointment with the case manager cost? It might be expensive, so you could check whether you can get money back from Medicare or private health insurance or whether you can get some other kind of financial help.
- Location: find out where you have to go to see the case manager - for example, a public or private hospital, or consulting rooms. You might have to travel further than you expect, depending on your child's needs.
Before your appointment with the case manager, you could go through these and any other questions with your GP or the person who referred you. You could also ask the case manager when you make the appointment. It's a good idea to write down any questions you have, so you don't forget.