MAAC provides Strengths Based Case Management (SBCM) training and support for case managers and other advocates who work with individuals and families experiencing homelessness. SBCM is a best practices model for homeless case management.
What is Strengths Based Case Management?
Strengths based case management focuses on possibilities rather than problems and strives to identify and develop strengths to assist clients reach their goals and dreams. It is a process of developing a team that includes the client, the case manager, and the community.
This program has a significant impact in providing stability to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. A trained case manager works intensively with a relatively small number of individuals or families to provide the resources and support over an extended period of time to enable them to secure and sustain permanent housing. The relationship between the case manager and the participant is a partnership based on advocacy and collaboration. The client’s strengths and goals are identified. The case manager works with the client to achieve both short and long term goals and helps the participant access necessary services. Although housing is usually the primary goal, this cooperative relationship may address employment, education, life skills goals, and any other aspirations held by a program participant.
In response to a growing community concern about homelessness, a joint committee was established by the Heart of America United Way and the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation in 1986. After examining the issue and determining the most effective means of addressing the situation was Strengths Based Case Management, the committee began implementing this approach. In 1993, the Joint Committee recommended that an existing social service agency maintain the case management program on a permanent basis. MAAC assumed oversight of the Homeless Case Management Program with a grant from the Jackson County Housing Resources Commission in January 1994.
Results of Strengths Based Case Management
Case managers and advocates have said the following about the impact of using SBCM:
- It gives clients a reason to return to my office and provides them with some hope for the future.
- SBCM gets clients to admit the root problem and then seek solutions.
- This is less stressful case management. I know I’m not the one doing everything.
- I love to watch the participant blossom as she builds on her strengths and becomes self-sufficient.
- SBCM encourages thinking outside the box.
- I learn so much about the client. This helps as we set goals.
- It helps me see the family’s potential for healthy ways of living.
- It’s good to be part of empowering people. When they realize how much work they are putting into fixing their problems, they become more self-sufficient.
Strengths Based Case Management (SBCM) training is a one-day training provided monthly to new and existing case managers who work with individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Discussion includes:
- Using the strengths perspective as it applies to case management with those who are homeless and/or living in poverty
- Principles of the strengths perspective
- Comparing and contrasting the disease/pathology model with the strengths model
- The SBCM process (engagement through completion)
- The helping relationship
- How to use the Person In Environment Assessment Tool and the Personal Goal Plan
This training is offered primarily to case managers and advocates whose agencies use MAACLink, but it can be made available to other interested community members and agency staff, as well as to individuals from communities outside of Kansas City.
Community Resource Connection (CRC) Groups
Community Resource Connection meetings are held monthly in Jackson, Clay/Platte, Johnson, and Wyandotte Counties. Groups are facilitated by the Homeless Services Director and focus on providing information about various resources, programs, and trainings which may benefit case managers and/or their clients. Attendees always have the opportunity to share their knowledge of resources with the group, as well as ask questions about resources for which they are looking.