The Complex Academic and On-the-Job Training Needs of Case Managers and Coordinators in Health and Mental Health

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Case management has emerged as a buzzword in government policy for providing services in health and mental health in Ontario, Canada. Despite a government focus and funding for case management services, however, there are few university programs, let alone courses, specifically aimed at training case managers.
This study examines the academic and on-the-job training needs of case managers from the point of view of case managers, supervisors and government funders. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with 69 case managers, supervisors, senior administrators and government policy makers involved in case management functions. Very few of the case managers had received any formal training in case management. Interdisciplinary skills training and development at the meso-level of knowledge was lacking in university and on-the-job training. Negotiations and mediation between professionals were cited as critical skills to develop, as well as having strong connections to multiple professionals and services in the community. An interdisciplinary focus on training was cited as essential.


Keywords: Case Management, Mental Health, Training, Social Work, Interdisciplinary Work
Stream: Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , Perspectives on the Training Needs of Case Managers Working in Mental Health


Dr. Daniel Cote

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Laurentian University
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

A life-long resident of Northern Ontario, Canada, Dr. Cote's doctoral dissertation studied the power strategies employed by staff during turbulent organizational change in a mental health context. Dr. Cote has held various clinical and senior administrative positions in health and mental health settings Northern and rural Ontario, Canada. He has used telemedicine technology extensively for providing direct clinical services, administrative planning and linkages with health partners across the North, and in educational/learning situations. Since 2003, Dr. Cote has been Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Laurentian University, Sudbury, Canada. He is a member of Laurentian University's Research & Ethics Board. He also is on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury/Manitoulin, and the Child and Family Centre in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Cote's current research interests include early school leavers, psychiatry and mental health, the study of pathways for obtaining services, case management, consent to treatment, standards of professional practice and regulation, administration and management of hospitals and mental health services, and organizational change in the human services sector. Dr. Cote recently presented at the 2007 International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability in Chennai India.

Ref: I08P0666