Case Plans and Case Management

Case Plans and Case Management

SB 61 passed in the Texas 82nd Legislative Session, established requirements for juvenile case managers employed by Texas municipal courts. These requirements include training in topics including case plans and case management. Case management is one of the strategies used by juvenile case managers to reduce juvenile crime and help prevent children from becoming further involved in the justice system.

The case manager coordinates with local service providers to assist families in obtaining counseling, human services, or other assistance. The case plan serves as a road map to keep all parties apprised of services that have been arranged and the status of service provision.

Case plans are typically developed during an intake meeting with the family. The information gathered during the meeting assists the case manager in identifying the family’s needs, services they may be currently receiving, and additional services that are needed. The greater the family’s involvement in the development of the plan, the greater their commitment to the activities and goals contained in the plan.

Once needs are identified and plans to address those needs are developed, the case manager is able to follow up with the family on a regular basis to determine progress and adjust the plan as needed. Moving from crisis management to case management reduces stress for all involved and allows for more effective service provision. This assists the case manager in meeting their goals of reducing juvenile crime and preventing children from becoming further involved in the juvenile justice system.

Advantages of a case plan for the case manager:

  • Allows identification of strengths and needs;
  • Allows better management of complex cases by breaking the various needs into smaller “pieces”
  • Assists in identification of resources that best fit the child’s needs; and
  • Allows the opportunity to demonstrate that the child is responsible for their failure or success.

Advantages for the youth:

  • Provides alternate solutions and strategies for avoiding risky behavior or situations;
  • Opportunity to learn cause and effect, how his or her behavior created the given situation
  • Provides a clear understanding of who is responsible for what in terms of accomplishing the goals described in the case plan; and
  • Allows the child to “learn” how to deal with problems by setting and achieving short and long term goals.

Advantages for the parent/guardian:

  • Increases consistency when dealing with problem situations or behavior;
  • Provides understanding of the consequences of ineffective approaches and also positive consequences of effective goal setting;
  • Allows the parent to “learn” how to deal with problems by setting and achieving short and long term goals; and
  • Gives parent a clear understanding of what is expected of them and what they can expect from the case manager.