Case Manager Appreciation Week is October 11 – 16. Case managers represent several roles at AzCA including Foster Care Adoption Specialists, Parent Educators, and Youth Support Specialists! We reached out to ask two of our Parent Educators a few questions to about their respective roles and all they do for our children, youth and families.
What does a Case Manager do?
I visit with each of my families for an hour twice a month. Each family is unique and requires different support so every day is different! Preparing for each visit involves reviewing past personal visit records, preparing parent handouts from the Parents as Teachers curriculum, checking for required assessments, and gathering materials and books for parent-child interaction. During visits, I listen to the family’ successes and challenges. Using motivational interviewing, I help parents develop their own parenting behaviors and strengthen their protective factors. Sandy, Parent Educator
What does a Case Manager’s day-to-day look like?
As a Case Manager, I go into homes and work with families on a more personal level. We talk about parent-child interactions and the importance of playing with children. We also complete developmental screenings such as the Ages and Stages Questionnaires, and utilize tools for hearing and vision exams. These help us refer out to the Arizona Early Intervention Program, or doctors who can provide otherwise missed diagnoses. At each visit, we also talk about family wellbeing, which could mean anything from making sure they have their basic needs met, to finding supports for their mental health needs. Katelyn, Parent Educator
What’s the most rewarding part of the work you do?
The most rewarding part is being able to build connections with families and celebrate big moments with them. Whether that be building routines or potty training, I get to be a part of their growth. A child took his first steps during a visit with a family – the mom still talks about it! I also really enjoy working closely with my teammates to develop group connections for our families to come together and meet each other. We provide fun activities, food, and even have presenters come to offer important information, such as what to do when you need to contact poison control. Katelyn
Watching parents interact with their children in play and while reading is rewarding! I love ah-ha moments when a child or parent masters a new skill, and love celebrating accomplishments with my families. Sandy
What skills does it take to be a Case Manager?
To be a Parent Educator, one needs to be confident, compassionate, empathetic, respectful and knowledgeable. Oh, and love to drive! Sandy
I needed a Bachelor’s Degree in a social field, but I think that ultimately was just a starting point for me. As a case manager, I need to be able to talk to my clients and meet them where they are. Clients are in their most vulnerable setting, letting us into their homes. They need us to listen so that they can feel heard, and they need someone to advocate for them, when they may not have the words to express their needs. It also requires an ability to remain flexible. For example, a visit might not be perfect or go how you planned it out to be, but it is important to make sure that the client is genuinely getting something from it. Katelyn
Why Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA)?
Something I love about my position, is that my services are free to the public. We receive funding from outside agencies like First Things First, so the only requirement that needs to be met, is that there is a child in the age range of prenatal to kindergarten in the home. There aren’t any education or financial barriers to this program, if you need resources, the Parents as Teachers Program, within AzCA, is available for you. Katelyn
I love working for AzCA! Being a Parent Educator at AzCA allows me to use many of my talents. As a teacher, I help parents and children reach their goals. As an avid reader, I share my love of reading with families in our program. As a researcher, I continue to gain knowledge to share with the people I work with every day. As a caring person, I share hope and build strengths in others. AzCA is a great place to be who you are and love what you do! Sandy
Join us in celebrating our Case Managers at AzCA this October! We appreciate their hard work and dedication to protecting children, empowering youth and strengthening families.