Social Services Case Manager

Social services case managers help individuals and families obtain the services they need to improve their lives. They work alongside other social services professionals to link clients to available benefits.

Case managers work for many different kinds of organizations. The government employs case workers at the local, state and federal level. Nonprofits also offer case management services to clients in need.

Social services case managers have a variety of responsibilities, including:

  • Determining the needs of clients
  • Researching services, both public and private, that can assist clients
  • Working as an intermediary between clients and other professionals for services
  • Arranging logistics, including paperwork, transportation and any possible costs
  • Ensuring that the needs of clients are being met and that services are provided appropriately

Case managers work with a wide variety of clients, including:

  • Children and families
  • Seniors
  • People with disabilities
  • People with addictions
  • Veterans
  • People with mental illnesses
  • Immigrants
  • Prison inmates
  • The homeless

Career Growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of social and human service assistants will increase 11 percent by 2024, well above the 7 percent growth rate for all occupations. The growth can be attributed to several factors. The senior citizen population continues to grow and will need social services. The increase in access to healthcare under the Affordable Care Act produces demand for more case managers. There is also an expected increase in addiction and mental health treatment. As a result, additional case managers are needed to help link clients to benefits.

Salary Potential

The median pay for case managers is $29,790 annually, or $14.32 per hour. The highest 10 percent earn more than $22.85 an hour, and those employed by state and local governments earn $17.07 per hour. Social and community service managers, a leadership position in this career path, earn a median salary of $62,740 annually. 

Education Required

While some social services case manager positions may only require a high school diploma, most employers seek workers with a college education. A bachelor’s degree in a behavioral science like psychology offers foundational knowledge that case managers need.

A higher level of education can help case managers move forward in their career. To move into leadership roles, a master’s degree in a relevant subject may be required.

Salary estimates are based on national average. Historically, salary ranges for the Northeast are higher due to higher cost of living.

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