Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Moments When it Feels Good to be a Case Manager

Note: I work in a supportive housing program. Our main goal is homelessness prevention. Compared to other departments at the agency my program tends to work with clients on a long term basis (sometimes over a period of several years). Read more about it here.

It's a good feeling to see clients come back. When they make their appointments -- services are free so they have no fine to pay if they miss an appointment. That they return because they find meeting and collaborating with me helpful to them in some way. Of course a few come back with specific requests along the line of busfare or gift cards, but not all do.

And of course, though I try not to expect it (admittedly this is hard), it also feels good to hear thank you -- makes me be even more sensitive to tell others thank you and be appreciative to folks who work with the public, customer service, and the like.

It's great to know I can joke around with a couple of clients who initially looked at me with not much more than disdain.

That moment that I know there's a connection, that rapport has been established -- it's rewarding as well as at times a relief. A connection meaning that there's an understanding there. I may have mentioned before that I knew a case manager who had the knack of creating rapport quickly, sometimes during intake appointments. I sat in on a few sessions with her and was in awe at her ability to do it. For me it seemed to take longer, but it's rewarding when it happens.

Not to mention it's cool when new folks come in and ask to become a client and I ask them what brought them to the agency and they say "I heard about this place and I just wanted to hear what kind of programs you have. I want to get involved."

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