Human Services Guide

Certified Social Work Case Manager Education

The certified social work case manager is a mental health professional who assists families and individuals in a health care setting and has a high degree of recognized experience and expertise. The certified social work case manager is a special title held by Bachelors of Social Work and Master of Social Work degree holders with 3+ years of experience who have applied for certification with the National Association of Social Workers.

This title confers special recognition within the field of medical social work. This title confers upon the holder enhanced professional and public recognition along with increased visibility as a specialized social worker within the field of medical social work. It also shows that the work is associated with the National Association of Social Workers which is a group that has attained national notoriety as one of the premier social work organizations

The certified social work case manager might work in a hospital, community clinic, nursing home or hospice setting aiding clients in dealing with the emotional strains incurred by the modern health care process. Whether this is helping the client gain access to community and government resources, facilitating support groups for families of the dying or direct individual counseling, the certified social work case manager plays a variety of roles in the health care process.

The job of the certified social work case manager is a complex one and many potential duties could be required. Some of the tasks a certified social work case manager might be expected to perform include:

  • Counseling groups or individuals in dealing with chronic illness, loss of a loved one or substance abuse
  • Being a mandatory reporter and investigator of potential child or elder abuse
  • Assess the needs of each individual client and keep detail records of clients progress in the healing process
  • Advocate on behalf of the client or family members by consulting with other members of the healthcare team
  • Helping to connect clients with community and government resources around financial or insurance issues
  • Help clients fill out Medicare or Medicaid applications information and oversee their information and status of ongoing benefits.


How this Job Services Human Beings

The certified social work case manager is a key member of the healthcare team and has a tremendous impact on the wellbeing of people navigating the healthcare system. Whether acting in the capacity of a counselor, advocate, liaison with government services or investigating child abuse, the certified social work case manager fulfills key services for members of their community. Indeed, the certified social work case manager can have a huge and lasting impact on many levels from society down to the individual.

Impact on Society

The certified social work case manager has a significant impact on society due to the critical function they perform within the healthcare establishment. By helping people deal with emotional aspects of moving through the healthcare system, the certified social work case manager has a measurable impact on the mental health of their community.
Some of the many ways a certified social work case manager can impact their community can include:

  • Early detection and prevention of elder or child abuse
  • Increase in medically insured community members
  • Increase in mental wellbeing of community members
  • Decrease in recovery times of patients
  • Better healthcare experience for community members

For the family the impact of the certified social work case manager can be huge. From helping to educate the family on medical procedures, to counseling on chronic illness and death, the certified social work case manager is an emotional bulwark for the family. The family can rely on the certified social work case manager to act as an advocate on their behalf as well as that of the patient. The family can also see their stress levels and confusion greatly diminish or even dissolve completely due to the diligent counseling of the certified social work case manager.

The medical social work can have a nothing short of life changing impact on the individual. From counseling them through the trauma of treatment of a chronic or acute illness to identifying child abuse, the certified social work case manager can have a dramatic and lasting impact on the life of the individual. For many individuals the process of medical treatment is one that can be frightening and traumatic. With the help of the certified social work case manager they can overcome their fears and even speed up their healing due to stress reduction. For the individual the certified social work case manager can have a tremendous impact on their life.

Education Required to Join the Workforce

In some rare cases, employers will hire certified social work case managers who have a Bachelors degree in Counseling, Social Work or Psychology. However, most employers are looking for candidates who have a Masters of Social Work degree. To further make one’s resume stand out, it is advisable to gain fluency in a foreign language as bilingual and multilingual candidates are highly sought after. In addition to having a Master of Social Work degree, a certified social work case manager will need to obtain a license. Please consult our article on Social Work licensure here. In addition to holding a minimum of a Bachelor of Social Work you must apply with the National Association of Social Workers and meet their requirements to receive the title of certified social work case manager.

Range of Salaries For Certified Social Work Case Managers

The annual mean wage - depending on employer designation - for a certified social work case manager on a nationwide basis, is from: $42,050 to $56,0601

What’s Next to Pursue this Career?

To get started on your career path as a certified social work case manager you will first need to obtain a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, Counseling, Sociology, Social Work or a closely related field.

To hold the title of certified social work case manager one will need to attain a minimum of a bachelor’s of social work with 3+ years of professional experience equivalent to 3500 hours of post-BSW paid and supervised professional work within an agency or organization that performs social work case management. They are also required to have a current state BSW-level license or ASWB BSW-level exam passing score. The applicant must also agree to abide by the NASW Code of Ethics along with the NASW Standards for Continuing Professional Education2.One can of course have a higher degree of licensure attained from possessing a Master of Social Work degree and passing relevant state licensure exams.

If you wish to hold the title of licensed clinical social worker in addition to certified social work case manager, you will need to earn a Master of Social Work as most employers now require this as a minimum qualification. In addition to having a Master of Social Work degree, a certified social work case manager will need to obtain a license. Please consult our article on Social Work licensure here. You can find a database of qualified schools in your area by clicking here. Now is a great time to get started on your journey towards becoming a certified social work case manager!

 

MSW@USC
University of Southern California