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discussing case management for children

April 11, 2012

Following last week’s webinar, OVCsupport.net has launced a discussion on case management and case work for children on their website. Four specific questions have been posted following questions around appropriate models for case management and roles and responsibilities for different stakeholders.

Andrew Bilson presented findings from the EveryChild report ‘Making Social Work Work’ and discussed the market model of case management, which clearly separates the provision of services from purchasing of services. In this model, case managers could be seen as purchasers of services rather than service providers. The discussion that followed questioned the relevance of such a model in less affluent contexts, or in countries where services are less well organised or not readily available. In reference to our study in Eastern and Southern Africa, I considered such a market model, and a strict division of purchasing and providing services to children, less helpful for thinking about case management in that region. Of course this relates to the lack of services available (including education, health care, birth registration) but also to the high involvement of communities in many countries. Community involvement and working with volunteers doesn’t allow for such a strict division between tasks, neither in terms of buying and providing services but also not with respect to divvying up responsibilities across sectors. More comprehensive thinking and coordination is required.

This also links to another discussion topic posted on the OVCsupport.net discussion forum, namely related to the actual work of community volunteers. To what extent do they actually provide case management or case work? In part, the answer to this question depends on what one considers to be the definition of case management and case work. But beyond that, it is undeniable that community volunteers are key in providing a response to vulnerable children, and have an important role to play in case management.

Let us know what you think and be part of the discussion!

Image

CPCC Bilibize, Mozambique

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