Westcare’s Intensive and Residential Case Management Service provides multi-disciplinary, intensive case management youth outreach service and residential case management service to 34 young people between the ages of 12 and 18, at any given time. The young people reside in out-of home-care, with family, or independently within our community with the support of a strong team including six Case Managers, and AOD Worker and two part-time Mental Health Workers.
A week in the life of a CMS/ICMS Case Manager
Westcare’s Intensive and Residential Case Management Service provides a comprehensive, contracted case management service to young people who are clients of Protective Services. Our aim is to provide a coordinated case-management approach that recognises the contribution and involvement of families, care givers, case workers and specialist support staff in providing coordinated care. Young people referred to the program are often considered to be at the highest level of risk and/or need in our community.
The service operates within the following principles:
- Young people have a right to be protected from harm and feel safe
- Intervention in the lives of young people should be based on their best interests and individual needs
- Service delivery should aim to increase stability in the young person’s life via a coordinated and collaborative approach with the care team
- Importance is placed on the views and participation of the young person, family and care team in decision making processes
- Continuity of relationships is a high priority in all aspects of case management
- Case Management practice incorporates current Therapeutic Frameworks into service delivery to young people and their families.
Since January 2011 this service has:
- Provided case management to 45 young people
- Assisted 14 young people to return home, either to their parents grandparents or kith and kin placements
- Provided Intensive Alcohol and Other Drug Service to 10 young people
- Transitioned seven young people into Lead Tenant placements
- Supported and transitioned five young people into independent living arrangements
- Provided an Intensive Mental Health Service to 12 young people
- Co-ordinated, facilitated and chaired approximately 600 care team meetings
- A full complement of staff with diverse job and life experiences ranging in age from 25 to 59 years
- Completed and compiled data from 90 HONOSCA (Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents) surveys
- Provided an after-hours crisis response to an average of 50 calls per month
- Supported 23 young people who have been Youth Justice clients.
CMS/ICMS Case Study: Terry*
In May 2010 a 14-year old young woman was placed on the Western High Risk Schedule and was subsequently referred to our Program. This young woman was residing in her family home and was exhibiting various high-risk behaviours including being exposed to her mother’s and stepfather’s domestic violence relationship, regular absconding, exclusion from school, associating with older males, poly-substance use, exposure to parental substance use and concerns regarding her mental health presentation.
Terry and her family were well known to local police who on average attended the family home at least on a weekly basis. Terry is the eldest of three siblings and would often present as parentified towards her younger sisters. Terry’s mother was in care during her own adolescence and her father had died before she was referred to us. Her father’s death was a cause for not only significant grief and loss but also a fear for her own health.
We worked with Terry on a Supervision Order within the family home for approximately six months during which time we observed significant domestic violence between her mother and stepfather, resulting in intervention orders between them. We recommended that Terry be removed from the environment due to the impact this was having on her risk taking behaviours. Terry was consequently placed in Westcare’s Residential Care for a short period and placed on a Custody to Secretary Order. We worked closely with the family and the care team, including Terry’s Mental Health worker, to strengthen Terry’s relationship with her family over the next few months.
During this time Terry’s mother left the family home and Terry returned to live with her stepfather and one of her sisters. We supported this reunification and Terry’s stepfather, knowing that ultimately this was the best place for her to be. Terry’s Custody to Secretary Order was changed to a Supervision Order.
During this time Terry was still involved in a relationship with an older male and this was having a direct impact on her mental health. Terry was involved in an accident whereby she sustained third degree burns to a significant portion of her body. She was in a coma for a lengthy period and her recovery is still ongoing. We provided ongoing support to Terry and her family throughout this period and for nearly twelve months after the accident. During this time there was significant change in Terry. She has become a self-assured young woman who demonstrates amazing insight into her relationship with her mother and the impact this has had on her life. Terry is exploring returning to school, has re-linked with her positive peer networks and continues to thrive whilst residing with her stepfather. Recently, Terry’s Supervision Order was allowed to lapse and there is no further Child Protection involvement. Those involved will follow her progress as we applaud her strength and wish her continued growth and happiness.