How To Become A Case Manager In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become case managers in Australia.


Are you passionate about helping others, empathetic, and determined to promote the rights and needs of helpless people? Then, a career as a case manager could be worth exploring.


Case managers work with people to evaluate and manage their care needs. They offer specialised care that involves coordinating care for ailments and injuries that need individualised or long-term treatment.


You usually don't need a formal qualification to become a Case Manager. However, a VET qualification in community services like a Certificate III in Community Services (CHC32015) or CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services can help develop specific practical skills in social services to enter this role.


If you work in a community care sector and are interested in management and supervisory-level positions, this blog is for you. Find out what is a case manager, what he does, how much he earns, and what it takes to start a career in this essential, fulfilling role.



1. What Is A Case Manager In Australia?


Case Managers play a crucial role in the community and healthcare services sectors. They are specialised social workers and healthcare professionals with an in-depth knowledge of the available medical and community services for their patients.


Case Managers usually work with severely ill patients who require long-term treatment, such as those living with mental illness, a substance abuse disorder, a disability, or other social problems.


Case Managers focus on analysing the client's needs and delivering health and social services that meet them. They are involved in everything from the initial assessment and continuous monitoring of their patient to developing a treatment plan that addresses their specific and personalised needs.



2. What Does A Case Manager Do?


Case managers may work in a consultative or an interventionist capacity based on the type of case they manage. They perform various tasks to provide patients with safe, efficient, and timely care.


  • Meet individuals or families to understand their needs 

  • Create detailed treatment plans 

  • Find suitable clinical care teams for individual patient's needs

  • Review the case progress

  • Help clients make informed decisions regarding their treatment options.

  • Discuss cases with external agencies 

  • Coordinate services to provide the best level of care

  • Assess the effectiveness of care programs

  • Maintain precise and comprehensive case records

  • Transfer patients between teams or facilities

  • Creating patient discharge plans

  • Advocate on behalf of clients

  • Perform risk assessments to ensure the accuracy and completeness of paperwork

  • Perform general admin tasks for documentation and reporting



3. What Is The Role Of A Case Manager In Community Services?


Community Services Case Managers are responsible for performing the following duties:


  • Identify, and assess their client's needs.

  • Use the SMART methodology to set appropriate goals for the case management plan. 

  • Define when these goals need to be achieved

  • Determine the involvement of external stakeholders in each goal 

  • Prepare an action plan to achieve the goals successfully.

  • Manage and supervise other frontline case workers

  • Support and lead their subordinate case workers during the process of case management 

  • Coordinate, monitor, and evaluate services on behalf of clients.



4. Skills To Succeed As A Case Manager


As case managers act as a link between doctors and patients, you need a range of personal skills to succeed in this role:


  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Organizational skills and time management skills

  • Willing to take responsibilities 

  • Like working independently

  • Empathic 

  • Understanding  

  • Tenacious

  • Able to delegate tasks 

  • Training and motivating others

  • Able to help people reach a satisfactory and workable conclusion

  • Practical liaising abilities with community service providers and government organizations

  • Negotiation and conflict-resolution skills

  • Able to interpret social policy and legislation and communicate them in easily understandable terms.

  • Multi-tasking 

  • Effective influencing abilities

  • Impeccable project management abilities



5. Steps To Become A Case Manager In Australia


You can become a Case Manager without a qualification in community service; however, it may benefit you when seeking employment.


Follow the below steps to pursue a Case Manager role in Australia:



Step 1: Complete A Certificate III


Complete a Certificate III in Community Services (CHC32015) or a Diploma of Community Services (CHC52015) through TAFE or a private college.



Step 2: Undertake University Education 


Study a 3-4 years relevant university-level degree, such as a Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Social Science, or Bachelor of Community Services, to widen your career prospects.



Step 3: Be Vaccinated And Have A Drivers License


Ensure your vaccinations are up-to-date and that you hold a current driver's license.



Step 4: Complete Relevant Checks


Complete relevant checks such as a National Police Check and a Working with Children Check.



Step 5: Gain Work Experience


Some employers require candidates to have practical experience. Consider working as a social worker, nurse, or in other related professions while studying for your degree.


You may also volunteer in your local community services organization that requires helpers at food banks, community events, and helplines. The work experience you gain will help build your confidence and industry-level skills.



Step 6: Become A Certified Case Manager 


You may require official licenses or certificates to offer your services based on the state you wish to work in. It makes it essential to research your local and professional licensing requirements to become eligible to work in your choice of location. 


Completing the Case Management Society of Australia & New Zealand & Affiliates (CMSA) examination can help you become a certified case manager.



6. How Many Clients Do Case Managers Have?


Case managers usually work with multiple clients and patients at once. Their cater to the needs of people from all stages of life, such as:


  • Addicts 

  • Old Age people

  • Ex-convicts

  • Severely ill people 

  • The impoverished



7. Is Case Manager A Good Job?


Case managers play a vital role in promoting the wellness and autonomy of people in Australian communities. Here are some fantastic benefits that make the role worth trying for:


  • You get a unique opportunity to meet and bond with people from varied backgrounds. 

  • You get the opportunity to help people work through complex issues and bring a positive difference in their lives.

  • The feeling you get by supporting vulnerable individuals, families, and the wider community makes the job emotionally rewarding and meaningful.

  • There are ample job opportunities for skilled case managers across Australia. The latest Australian Community Sector Survey shows community care workers are needed now more than ever for their services since the government started its economic response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

  • Considering the community services sector to be the largest employing industry, the future job prospects of Case Managers are promising in Australia. The industry is set to reach 1.9 million by 2024 from 1.7 million workers in 2020.



8. Areas Of Specializations For A Case Manager


Case managers can work in various settings based on their expertise and patients' needs. After gaining adequate experience, workers can consider specialising in the following areas:



Hospital Case Managers


They evaluate the patient's health insurance plan, communicate with different insurers and providers, and negotiate coverage benefits between a health insurer, insurance provider, and patient.



Health Insurance Case Managers


What does a Medicare case manager do? They receive information from home healthcare companies, social workers, hospital case managers, or other healthcare providers and work to provide affordable and high-quality care to the patient.



Home Health Case Managers


They provide hands-on care, oversee visiting nurses in patients' homes, and communicate with health insurers and other medical professionals to coordinate and execute the best plan for the patient.



9. The Most Common Case Manager Jobs In Australia


The community care sector in Australia is the largest employing industry in Australia. The increasing aging population and growing need for childcare services are the main reasons causing continued expansion and employment growth in the sector.


Case managers fall under the job category of welfare support workers. They work in a range of care sectors in the following areas:


  • Children's services

  • Mental health care

  • Aged care

  • Residential care

  • Youth work

  • Social work



10. Where Do Case Managers Work?


Case Managers usually work in public, private, or non-profit settings within the community services or healthcare industries.


Some of these include the following:


  • Hospitals

  • Social service offices

  • Private practices like clinics

  • Rehabilitation facilities

  • With clients at home

  • Organizations specializing in workers' compensation, youth work, or mental health

  • Preventionist setting to help clients before their needs get severe


Some Case Managers also work as educators and consultants to help clients regain control of their lives.



11. Working Conditions For A Community Services Case Manager


They usually work indoors, in an office environment, in specific areas with at-risk youth, people with disability, and employment services. They may occasionally travel to communicate with clients and service providers.


Though 61% of workers work full-time, they may find flexible and part-time work opportunities across the community services sector.


Case managers work closely with health providers, including general care practitioners, psychologists, and psychiatrists.



12. What Experience Do You Need To Be A Case Manager?


Gaining relevant training and voluntary experiences to prepare you for this role and boost your chances of job success. Working in the following areas can help you build relevant expertise:


  • Social support setting

  • Adult care facility

  • Home care setting

  • Working with people from diverse backgrounds, such as psychology or counselling



13. How To Become A Case Manager With No Experience?


To enter the role without experience, you need to earn the necessary community services qualification. Later, you can progress in your career by completing further study and upskilling yourself.


The below case manager courses will help you kickstart a career in the role:


  • Certificate III in Community Services Skills

  • Certificate IV in Community Services

  • Diploma of Community Services – Case Management 

  • Case Management Skill Set

  • Graduate Certificate in Client Assessment and Case Management



14. What Is The Difference Between A Social Worker And A Case Manager?


Case managers and social workers are vital for their services in the community services industry.


They are in charge of handling clients and directing them to the proper care services when required. However, both positions have specific differences you must know when deciding a role to pursue.



Job Responsibilities


Case managers provide clients with the necessary support and services to help them function in society. Social workers take it further by looking into the physical, emotional, and social consequences related to their client's needs.


Case managers don't provide therapy to their clients as social workers do but provide supportive counselling from time to time.





Entry-level social workers need a bachelor's degree, followed by an internship or supervised fieldwork. A master's degree in social work is beneficial to pursue management roles or move into a licensed clinical social worker role.


On the other hand, case managers don't require a formal qualification to pursue this role; however, an undergraduate degree in therapy, social work, nursing, or a related field is desirable.



Licensing and Certification


Most states require social workers to be certified or licensed to provide their services as social workers. Though case manager positions don't need certification, it is beneficial to demonstrate your expertise in the field.



15. How Much Do Case Managers Earn In Australia?


The average case manager's salary in Australia is AU$ 66,336 per year. Their salary varies based on their experience and the high level of responsibility they undertake.


The starting salary of a case manager could be low, but as they gain experience, they may draw higher salaries.


  • Entry-level Case Managers (< 1-year experience) - AU$63,359 per year

  • Early career Case Managers (1-4 years of experience) - AU$65,026 per year

  • Mid-career Case Managers (5-9 years of experience) - AU$68,619 per year 

  • Experienced Case Managers (10-19 years of experience) - AU$73,298 per year 



16. Where Do Case Managers Make The Most Money?


Case Managers can find jobs in almost every region of Australia; however, certain cities pay them the most. These include:


  • Melbourne City Centre, Victoria - $92,729 per year

  • Perth, Western Australia - $89,599 per year

  • Sunshine, Victoria - $87,932 per year

  • Melbourne, Victoria - $86,780 per year

  • Canberra, Australian Capital Territory - $85,801 per year

  • Brisbane, Queensland - $84,958 per year

  • Darwin, Northern Territory - $83,927 per year

  • Sydney, New South Wales - $79,138 per year

  • Broadmeadows, Victoria - $79,022 per year



17. How Much Does A Community Case Manager Make In Australia? 


The average community services case manager salary in Australia is $85,952 in a year or $44.08 per hour.


Where Entry-level positions usually earn around $78,964 per year, most experienced Case Managers make up to $106,672 per year.



18. Conclusion


The role of a Case Manager assures you of a steady future and excellent career prospects. It allows you to flex your management skills while growing your caring side.


With a wide range of industry-recognised and flexible online community services courses from Certificate II to Advanced Diploma level, you can quickly pursue the career of your dreams.


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