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What do Care Managers do?—A Study of Working Practice in Older Peoples' Services

A. Weinberg, J. Williamson, D. Challis and J. Hughes
The British Journal of Social Work
Vol. 33, No. 7 (OCTOBER 2003), pp. 901-919
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23720113
Page Count: 19
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What do Care Managers do?—A Study of Working Practice in Older Peoples' Services
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Abstract

This paper explores the principal activities of local authority staff undertaking the role of care manager. It is based on a sample of staff in a social services department specializing in older people's services. Data were obtained by asking staff to complete a diary schedule in which thirty-four job related activities were grouped into five broad categories on the basis of previous research. A 57 per cent response rate was achieved. Analysis of the data revealed several findings of note. First, excluding travel, care managers spent 64 per cent of their working week in direct and indirect user and carer related activities. Second, administrative tasks occupied 32 per cent of their time. Third, care managers spent 27 per cent of their time in assessment activities compared with 7 per cent in monitoring and reviewing activities and 5 per cent in counselling and support. Fourth, care managers spent 4 per cent of their time liaising with health staff. These findings are discussed in the light of previous research and a shift is noted in the nature of the direct contact with the service user. The methodological limitations of the study are explored and the implications of these findings for users and carers and the development of care management arrangements are discussed.

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