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What Is Targeted Case Management?

by Dipesh Dhital 1 min read

What Is Targeted Case Management and How Does it Work?

Targeted case management is an essential human services practice focused on providing individualized support and care coordination to clients with complex needs. As a case manager, you take on a critical role in helping high-risk individuals access necessary services, progress toward their goals, and lead healthier, more stable lives. 

But how does it differ from standard case management? This article will help you understand targeted case management, its purpose, key components, and main objectives. With a deeper understanding of this intensive, customized approach, you'll be well-equipped to make a difference in your clients' lives.

What Is the Purpose of Targeted Case Management?

Targeted case management emerged as a best practice for working with individuals struggling with multiple, interconnected issues. While general case management provides basic care coordination services, targeted case management offers more individualized support.

The main purpose is to identify clients at greatest risk for poor outcomes and provide tailored services to address their complex needs. It prevents them from falling through the cracks in the human services system and not receiving adequate care. Federal requirements have set criteria to identify and serve eligible individuals for targeted services, ensuring that resources go where they're most needed.

Some examples of individuals who may benefit from targeted case management include:

  • Those with chronic mental illnesses or substance use disorders
  • Individuals recently released from prison
  • Individuals and families experiencing homelessness
  • Elderly patients with health concerns
  • Children and youth in foster care

Without intensive, wraparound services, these vulnerable clients are more likely to cycle in and out of jails, hospitals, and treatment programs. Targeted case management aims to provide stability, improve quality of life, and reduce recidivism.

Targeted Case Management vs. General Case Management

So, what sets targeted case management apart from general case management approaches? There are a few key differences:

  • Intensity of services: Targeted case management involves frequent face-to-face contact, sometimes weekly or daily check-ins, depending on client needs. General case management may only require a few set periodic meetings with clients.
  • Comprehensiveness: Targeted case managers coordinate care across various life domains like healthcare, housing, legal issues, finances, and employment. General case management may focus on just one or two service areas.
  • Duration: Targeted case management provides long-term support and monitoring, sometimes for years, depending on the client. General case management typically involves short-term connections.

The Role of Targeted Case Managers in Providing Tailored Support

Targeted case manager duties include getting to know clients deeply as individuals so that you can create tailored plans that meet their unique needs and goals. You'll work one-on-one with clients over an extended period to:

  • Conduct comprehensive assessments covering their health histories, trauma backgrounds, family dynamics, education levels, and more. It helps you understand the full picture.
  • Identify priority areas for intervention based on their strengths, challenges, and aspirations.
  • Develop highly individualized case plans outlining specific services, support, and timelines.
  • Directly provide services like crisis counseling, skills training, or family mediation.
  • Coordinate and monitor various services by community providers.
  • Build trusting relationships that motivate and encourage clients through obstacles.
  • Celebrate incremental progress and successes.

You'll customize the full suite of services around each client's values, culture, responsibilities, and vision for the future. No two targeted case management plans look exactly alike. 

By getting to know clients intimately, you can walk alongside them, advocate for their needs, and help them navigate complex systems. Your partnership, empathy, and case management skills are key to targeted case management outcomes. 

Key Components of Targeted Case Management

Now that you understand the intensive, customized nature of targeted case management, let's explore the core components of this model.

Identification of High-Risk Clients

The first component is to systematically identify clients with the highest level of need. It helps ensure you allocate the limited targeted case management resources to those most likely to benefit.

Potential ways to identify appropriate clients include:

  • Reviewing hospital records to identify recurrent users of crisis mental health services
  • Working with corrections facilities to find individuals with multiple incarcerations and minimal outside support
  • Partnering with homeless shelters to find families and individuals with long histories of housing instability
  • Obtaining referrals from child protective services for parents at risk of losing custody of children
  • Checking with elderly social service agencies for seniors who are socially isolated or unable to handle necessary activities like paying bills

Careful screening allows targeted case management programs to recognize populations underserved by current systems. Targeting the highest-risk individuals ultimately helps reduce public expenditures related to preventable hospitalizations, imprisonment, and foster care.

Development of Individualized Treatment Plans

Once you've identified high-risk clients, the next step involves developing individualized treatment plans. These are not mere checklists, but dynamic care plans intricately tailored to address the multifaceted needs of each individual. 

Individualized treatment plans act as a roadmap and may include:

  • Long-term goals the client wants to achieve
  • Shorter-term objectives that build toward goals
  • Specific interventions and services to meet objectives
  • Timeframes and target dates
  • Measurable indicators of progress
  • Roles and responsibilities for the client, case manager, and other qualified providers

With a tailored case plan co-developed with the client, you have a blueprint for providing targeted services.

Provision of Intensive Services

Targeted case management stands apart due to its focus on providing intensive services to individuals. This includes a higher frequency of touchpoints with the client, more in-depth service coordination, and a broader range of services for individuals who need them the most.

Intensive case management services may involve various interventions, such as individual therapy, group therapy, skill-building workshops, crisis management, and medication management. You'll work closely with your clients to identify the most effective strategies and interventions based on their unique circumstances.

It's not merely about ticking off tasks. It's about immersing yourself in the comprehensive care of a client, often facilitated by robust human services software like Casebook, which facilitates more efficient coordination of services.

Coordination of Care With Other Agencies

Targeted case management is rarely a solitary endeavor. It involves active coordination of services with other service providers, public agencies, and community stakeholders. 

The idea is to create a care network around each eligible individual, ensuring the seamless delivery of services. Whether liaising with healthcare providers for medical treatments or collaborating with educational institutions for skill development, care coordination is instrumental in achieving case management goals.

Monitoring of Client Progress

Unlike general case management, which may involve infrequent or sporadic contact, targeted case management relies on consistent monitoring and adaptation. By meeting with clients frequently, you can:

  • Assess current risks and needs
  • Provide ongoing motivation and accountability
  • Modify case plans based on changes
  • Measure incremental progress and distance to goals
  • Watch for any setbacks that require intervention

Regular contact allows you to truly walk alongside clients on their journeys towards increased stability and improved quality of life. You’ll get to know them deeply, gain their trust, and develop a profound understanding of what works versus what doesn’t.

Some beneficiaries of targeted case management services require intensive daily or weekly contact to stay on track. For others, less frequent monitoring may be appropriate. The key is customizing based on each client's needs while maintaining regular engagement.

Consistent monitoring and adaptation of services is the cornerstone of targeted case management. Taking a long-term approach can achieve lasting, meaningful change.

Main Objectives of Targeted Case Management

Now that you understand the multifaceted components of targeted case management, what core results should you strive for? While each client’s objectives and goals will be unique, there are some overarching outcomes successful targeted case management aims to produce.

Reduce the Risk of Recidivism

Many clients served through targeted case management struggle with cyclical issues like repeat incarcerations, hospitalizations, or loss of housing. Targeted case management can break these destructive patterns by providing intensive personal and community services tailored to individuals’ needs.

Through comprehensive assessment, crisis planning, skills building, relationship development, and care coordination, you set clients up for stability rather than relapse. It reduces recidivism as well as related public expenditures. Targeted case management helps clients become more independent and resilient.

Improve Client Functioning

Improving the overall functioning of clients is another cornerstone objective. It involves working on their mental, emotional, and physical well-being, enabling them to lead more fulfilling lives. 

The focus here is on the whole person, encompassing various services from healthcare to educational and vocational programs. You empower clients to build stability and independence by improving functioning across multiple areas.

Reduce the Cost of Services

Finally, a significant yet often overlooked objective is to reduce the cost of services without compromising on quality. This isn't just beneficial from a fiscal standpoint; it also ensures that limited resources reach more individuals in need. Implementing a focused, targeted approach minimizes waste and optimizes the use of community resources.

Care coordination, facilitated by advanced human services software, can substantially cut costs. In addition, efficient care coordination leads to quicker service delivery, less duplication, and ultimately, a higher rate of successful outcomes, aligning with the overarching case management goals.

Unlock the Power of an Efficient Case Management Software

Targeted case management offers a powerful practice model for serving vulnerable individuals with complex case management needs. By providing customized, multi-tier support based on in-depth knowledge of each client, you can help break destructive cycles and improve quality of life.

However, effectively implementing targeted case management requires robust systems for care coordination. Identifying high-risk clients, conducting comprehensive assessments, developing individualized treatment plans, directly providing services, collaborating with partners, and monitoring progress involves extensive data tracking and communication.

This is where a purpose-built case management software like Casebook becomes invaluable. Casebook helps streamline every aspect of your work, from comprehensive assessments to care plan creation and inter-agency coordination.

Ready to take your case management services to the next level? Get a demo of Casebook today and witness firsthand how technology can empower you to achieve unparalleled success in targeted case management.

Discover the Transformative Power Casebook Can Provide to Your Organization

Dipesh Dhital