Written by Latoria White

This past summer, myself and Karen Painter from CAPS, hosted the University’s first Regional Higher Ed Case Management Roundtable discussion. Case Managers from Virginia Tech, William and Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, James Madison University and UVA came together to discuss challenges and successes of CM in the higher education setting. We looked closely at diversity of roles, case management identity, best practices, and bridging gaps through case consultation and resource sharing. We wrapped up the day by engaging in a mindfulness activity facilitated by CAPS Clinical Director, Nicole Ruzak.

Most of the case managers who participated are members of the National Higher Ed Case management Association (HECMA), an organization for individuals that provide case management services within a post-secondary educational environment. Higher Ed Case Managers serve in a range of offices from counseling centers, to the Office of the Dean of Students, Title IX offices, Student Disability Access Centers and even Residential Life and Housing. Their backgrounds are likewise diverse ranging from counseling, to social work, and student affairs. In the end, they all share one common goal: to foster and create collaboration, accessibility, cohesion, safety, wellness and a welcoming environment for our student population and greater community.

Case management is about helping students navigate and achieve academic success by fostering cultures and communities of care. This multi-disciplinary systems approach is used to increase, promote, and advocate for and with students for safety, wellness, and development for academic, social, and personal achievement. The integrative framework of case management helps to facilitate student’s recovery and wellness by promoting independence, effective problem solving with the help of information resources and advocacy, as well as relationship building. Motivation Interviewing is one of the most helpful techniques used in case management. It’s person-centered, collaborative approach helps to strengthens a person’s own motivation for and movement toward a specific goal toward change. Case managers will often collaborate with health care providers on campus and in the community to address the needs of students.

As the case manager (as well as a counselor) at the Women’s Center, I provide a wide range of supportive services to students including crisis intervention, safety planning, consultation services, counseling, information and referrals, work jointly with students to build support systems, act as a liaison between on-grounds providers and community providers, and provide follow-up services. It is as well my responsibility to maintain accurate and confidential records and documentation, including our wait list, up to date list of on-grounds and community referrals, and confidential client information. Over the past year, this position has evolved to best meet the needs of the diverse population we serve at the Center. Collaborating with and maintaining strong relationships with our partners on Grounds and in Charlottesville helps to ensure continuity of care for the population we serve.

Case management services are free, confidential, and available to any student in need of support, advocacy, resources, or referrals. We aim to help you feel supported, especially when you are considering changes in your support network or are trying to navigate what your next steps should be. The collaborative core of case management serves to inform of all the services that are available for you so that you feel confident in the steps you take toward success.

Students and parents report that case management services help students feel more connected, better able to work through difficult times, provides students with a sense of direction, and helps to restore a sense of empowerment. For more information about case management services at UVA’s Maxine Platzer Women’s Center, please call 434-982-2252. For more information about case management services at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS,) please call 434-243-5150.