chapter  18
Social work and care/case management in dementia
ByDavid Challis, Jane Hughes, Caroline Sutcliffe
Pages 7

Social work, like any professional or occupational group, is inseparable from the organizational and legislative context in which it takes place since this denes the parameters of practice. Prior to the introduction of care/case management, descriptions of social work in services for adults, including older people, tended to focus on profession specic activities, to the neglect of outputs such as the function of linking the individual to networks of care. Moreover, social work with older people, including those with dementia, was typically a short term intervention (Hunter et al., 1990). Assessments were oen undertaken in a relatively narrow and service-oriented fashion, followed by an allocation of service prior to closure (Challis, 2003). Continuing management of long-term problems for people living in the community was neglected. e advent of care/case management required a useful redenition of social work in relation to long-term care of older people. It can be most simply dened as a strategy for organizing and coordinating care services at the level of the individual. Care/case management, therefore, involves mobilizing and inuencing various agencies and services to achieve clearly formulated goals, rather than each provider pursuing separate and perhaps diverse goals (Challis, 1993; Schultz and McDonald, 2014). It is helpfully understood in terms of six criteria: the performance of core tasks, eective coordination, explicit goals, a specic target population, a long-term care focus and an impact on service development as well as individual cases. is is summarized in Box 18.1. Various terms are used to describe this process including case management, care management and care coordination (Challis and Hughes, 2012).