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SECTION 300: CASE PROCESS FOR SOCIAL WORKERS FOR THE BLIND

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REVISED: 05/01/09


The Social Worker for the Blind (SWB) is the designated staff person to be Case Manager for consumers receiving services through the Independent Living Services Program in the Division of Services for the Blind. In this role the Social Worker for the Blind assumes overall responsibility for managing the consumer’s ILS case using the five steps of the social case work process. These steps (Case Finding, Eligibility Documentation, Service Plan Development, Service Implementation and Case Closure) are outlined in this section. Case Management by the SWB involves the total spectrum of ILS service delivery whether the service is provided “hands on” by the Social Worker for the Blind or is provided by an Orientation and Mobility Specialist and/or Nursing Eye Care Consultant after referral by the SWB.

The Social Worker for the Blind is responsible for providing basic independent living services and skills training to ILS consumers. Basic independent living services are “core” services that form the foundation of the consumer’s service plan. These basic services will form either the totality of services the consumer needs in order to achieve independence and self-sufficiency or will form the foundation for other services.

Determining basic services for consumers relies heavily upon information gathered by the Social Worker for the Blind during the consumer study at which time the consumer’s needs and abilities are ascertained. During the study the SWB will learn about the consumer’s physical, mental, and social environments as well as any support systems he may have through family, friends, and community. These factors play important roles in a consumer’s ability and desire to achieve independence and are critical in determining if a service need is basic or extensive, the latter involving more complex needs.

What distinguishes a “basic” service from an “extensive” service?

What may be termed a basic service for Consumer A may be a more complex, or extensive, service for Consumer B even though the service name may be the same. The discriminating factor is the level or intensity of instruction between consumer and worker.

Basic refers to Independent Living Services and skills training for consumers that are short-term and/or require only minimal instruction. These services are provided by Social Workers for the Blind

Extensive refers to services and skills training that require direct instruction over an extended period of time. They are provided by Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselors. These services may be provided either in consumer’s place of residence or in a mini-center.

A listing of Independent Living Services provided by Social Workers for the Blind is shown below, followed by examples of case scenarios that illustrate the provision of some of these services.

I. ADJUSTMENT SERVICES FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED

A. Skills Development to Meet the Demands of Daily Living

Adjustment services are provided by the SWB to enable the consumer to meet his/her demands of daily living. Skills development is provided through special training in:

B. Skills Development through Group Services

Adjustment Services that enhance skills development for the consumer’s adjustment to and acceptance of his/her visual limitations through:

 

II. HEALTH SUPPORT SERVICES

Services that assist consumers and their families to recognize health needs and to secure needed health services available under Medicaid, Medicare, maternal and child health programs or other agency health services programs and from other public or private agencies or providers of health services. These services include:

III. INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY ADJUSTMENT SERVICES

These services are designed to offer assistance to individuals and their family members in support of attempts to restructure or solidify the individual’s environment. Activities include:

IV. INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICES

Information and referral services are information about services provided under the State’s services program and other service programs, both public and private. Includes:

V. IN-HOME AIDE SERVICES: LEVEL I-HOME MANAGEMENT (FORMERLY CHORE SERVICES FOR THE BLIND)

This is a paraprofessional service that assists persons with essential home management tasks such as housekeeping, cooking, and laundering. In-home aides employed by the consumer carry out these tasks. The SWB serves as Case Manager for this service and as such performs an annual review of all eligibility criteria (refer to pages 63-69).

CASE EXAMPLES

2. Consumer Needing ILS Services and VR Services

Mrs. Collins is 47 years old and has recently had a heart attack. Her diabetic condition has worsened and her vision is diminishing. She lives with her husband and children. Her husband works outside the home during the day and their children are at school. During her recent convalescence at home, her husband has helped her with simple food preparation tasks such as making a cup of coffee, fixing cold cereal and microwave entrees. The Social Worker for the Blind provided a liquid level indicator, adjustable knife and jar opener as adaptive aids. The SWB also provided instruction in their use. When Mrs. Collins has regained her strength and stamina, the SWB will refer her to the orientation and mobility specialist to learn independent travel skills.

Consumer study by the SWB indicated that Mrs. Collins would not be able to resume her former occupation as a UPS driver because of her diminishing vision and heart condition. She has requested vocational services to prepare for a different field of employment when she has fully recovered from her heart attack. The Social Worker for the Blind will refer Mrs. Collins to the DSB Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in the Rehabilitation Services Program.

CASE MANAGER DESIGNATION: Mrs. Collins will have two Case Managers concurrently. While her case remains in Active Status for ILS services, the SWB is Case Manager for these services. If Mrs. Collins is accepted for VR services, the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor will be her Case Manager for those services.

3. Consumer Needing ILS Services, ILR Services and VR Services

STEPS FOR CASE PROCESS

A. Step 1: Case Finding

Case finding is the first step in the Case Process for Social Workers for the Blind. This step is a multi-stage process that involves reaching blind and visually impaired persons through any and all available media. It also involves interpreting agency objectives and services to local schools, civic organizations, and other community resources that serve these persons. The process includes:

In the process of identifying those in need of Independent Living Services, the Social Worker for the Blind will be guided by the following concepts:


An expanded version of these concepts is found in Appendix E: Social Work Techniques. Each worker will become familiar with these concepts and incorporate them into the Case Management Process.

B. Step 2: Eligibility Documentation

This second step of the case process consists of three distinct levels: Consumer Study, Application Process and Eligibility Decision.

1. Consumer Study

C. STEP 3: SERVICE PLANNING

1. Assessment and Planning

D. STEP 4: SERVICE DELIVERY

E. STEP 5: CASE CLOSURE

1. Successful Closure (Status 49)

a. For cases in which ILS services were provided only by the Social Worker for the Blind:

The case is ready for successful closure (Status 49) after services have been provided and both Social Worker for the Blind and the consumer agree that the consumer has achieved his/her goal as listed on his/her Service Plan (DSB-7103). The SWB will provide the consumer with a 10-day advance notice of case closure.

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