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10 Old Grimsbury Rd, Banbury OX16 3HG, UK

BA3000 – ARTS EDGE

Assessment Task – 1B

DESCRIPTION: Case study analysis


• You are expected to use a current ‘case’ to engage in a student-learning approach.
• This task will require that you locate, contact and interview a professional working in a career you are interested in pursuing in order to produce a written or digital (e.g. online; audio; video) reflective piece on how the knowledge gained throughout your degree is relevant to the experiences of a professional. Please note: It is the student’s responsibility to initiate contact with the professional they will interview for this task.
• Word count for a written analysis: 1000 words.

Answer

Assessment 1B – Reflective Case Study Analysis

Pursuing Career as a Case Manager

Background

Interviewer. I am a Bachelor of Arts student pursuing my major in Human Services from James Cook University, with a prior diploma in Chemical Engineering from Visakhapatnam, India. Before resuming my academic journey, I worked as a Community Worker in Visakhapatnam which motivated me to pursue my career in Human Services. Currently, I work as a Support Worker in We2care, Disability services and support organization, Aitkenvale, QLD.

Interviewee. Shivani Gandhari (alumna at James Cook University) works as a Case Manager in Townsville Multicultural Support Group. With nearly two years of comprehensive experience providing social services to various groups of people, she is an advocate for client resources. Moreover, her commitment to work and diverse roles and responsibilities makes her an apt interviewer from whom I can learn, and even get inspired to build a successful career in Human Services.

Aims of the Interview

The primary aim of my interview with Shivani was to seek an in-depth understanding about the role of a Case Manager. Secondly, I sought to grasp the diverse skills required to fulfil the role responsibly and even gain knowledge on how to acquire as well as enhance those skills. Furthermore, Shivani is adept in working both as a Community Worker and as a Support Worker, thus making her a worthy Case Manager. Hence, I also sought to seek career advice from her and know more about her organisation.

Outcomes of the Interview

A two-hour long in-depth semi-structured interview with Shivani Gandhari provided an acute understanding of working for outreach community programs. “You’re on the right path to become a case manager,” stated Shivani as we commenced the interview with academic qualifications. For a career in outreach community programs, a degree in Human Services is considered both valid and significant as it entails one to learn about managing and facilitating individuals from diverse cultures. “With a Human Services degree and appropriate work experience in the field, you’re ready to enter the practical scenario of community programs.” An aspect of this degree that she emphasised upon was its way of teaching applicable methods of case management. “When you’re able to effectively conduct needs assessments, differentiate between risk and protective factors, maintain rapport and develop comprehensive plans,” adds Shivani, “then you’ve put your degree to good use.”

Another area of significance in multicultural support programs is its diversity. Shivani advises “If you’re not able to build healthy rapport with migrants or individuals seeking shelter under other programs in the organisation, then you would not be able to help them.” A competent case manager coordinates individuals from diverse refugee and humanitarian backgrounds. This kind of rapport building is extremely crucial, and she stresses that a culturally competent person is able to efficiently assess the needs of others. “Building effective rapport with the Indigenous community will enable you to understand their backgrounds better, thus being able to support them profoundly.” Apart from building rapport, a case manager conducts a comprehensive psychosocial needs assessment of the clients and their families’ strengths, weaknesses, and goals to determine the services required, as well as to achieve settlement outcomes across various areas including physical and mental health, community participation, accommodation, employment, and family support. Shivani explains “Such responsibilities makes a case manager crucial in the final development of the case outcomes, thus setting achievable goals for clients.”

Lastly, Shivani emphasises on the importance of maintaining positive relationships with key stakeholders. She recommends “manage all records according to record management procedures and ensured timely completion and reporting of service delivery as per contract requirements (KPIs), maintain confidentially of all cases, and complete and track grant applications with supporting documentation to secure funding proposals. This will ensure that you have a strategic plan to show to the stakeholders as all the stakeholders are critical in the process to enhance the effectiveness of the service delivery model.” We end the interview by discussing several skills required to effectively perform the role of outreach program workers. “From ethics, communication and multi-tasking to conflict resolution and crisis intervention, these competent skills that are paramount to support individuals’ economic and personal well-being” explicates Shivani.

Reflection

In terms of academic qualification, I reflect that I am on the right path. A degree in Human Services is well-versed with the methodological and personal skills required for a career as a case manager. Hence, my degree demonstrates a successful application to organisations conducting outreach community programs. I also believe that my strength to pursue a career in Human Services lies in my work experience. With more than 2 years of experience as a community worker and subsequently a support worker, I have become adept at learning the skills required to effectively conduct outreach programs. My professional skills have been put to good use as I am currently working in the ‘Disability Services’ of We2care organisation. From ensuring community safety, educational and medical accommodation for orphaned children, I have now taken a significant step to work in the Disability Services. I am currently building skills to design accommodation and opportunities frameworks for individuals with disabilities. For designing these frameworks, I am focusing on enhancing the skills of rapport formation, communication, conflict-resolution and crisis intervention, as Shivani suggested. Moreover,

My chief emphasis going forward is to create a constructive Needs Assessment highlighting all the requirement areas of the clients. This shall enable me to design achievable goals for the clients, thus improving my skills for a career as a case manager. Furthermore, I am actively building my portfolio in order to take on more responsibilities with regards to stakeholders’ domain. Currently, I am not qualified to attend stakeholders’ meetings or handle stakeholders’ documentation but I have reached out to my current supervisor to allow me to assist the workers who are responsible for handling high-level management. Having professional administrative skills will enrich my skill set and help me take on managerial responsibilities. Therefore, I aim to work upon the actions in my reflections as it shall aid my career to become a case manager in the future.


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