Supportive Case Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Sep 18, 2019

Mentally ill patients often need advocates, and supportive case managers provide this service. These professionals make sure that patients receive fair and respectful treatment, that patients have a safe living environment, and that they are getting any therapy they require. Most supportive case managers hold the minimum of a bachelor's degree, and workers need good people skills as well as the ability to communicate with a wide range of individuals.

Essential Information

Supportive case managers, sometimes known as social and human service workers, provide psychiatric, psychological or social services. These professionals may work for rehabilitation programs, hospitals, clinics or other health care-related facilities. Supportive case managers need a bachelor's degree, while some employers prefer a master's degree in counseling services, mental health or a similar field.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Master's degree may be required for some positions
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 13%* (for social and community service managers)
Median Salary (2018) $65,320* (for social and community service managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description for a Supportive Case Manager

Supportive case managers provide services and support to mentally ill children and adults. Managers may have specialized knowledge and expertise in a particular area, such a supporting people with developmental disabilities. Although these professionals typically work within a health care facility or homeless shelter, they may occasionally travel to see clients away from the facility or office.

Salary and Employment Outlook

Social and community services managers, a related field to supportive case managers, were expected to see employment growth much faster than the average from 2018 to 2028, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated. In May 2018, the BLS reported that professionals in the 90th percentile or higher earned $111,150 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $40,720 or less per year.


Supportive case managers may begin an assignment by meeting with the client in order to ascertain needs and requirements. This may include observing a client's environment, general behavior and interaction with others. Case managers may then discuss their observations with facility directors and the client's family in order to begin creating an individual service plan. During this stage, supportive case managers may also review legal and compliance issues, such as client rights, entitlements and government coverage of medical expenses.

Supportive Duties

Once supportive case managers have created an individual service plan, they may begin interacting with and treating the client. In this role, case managers may assist clients with daily activities, creating personal goals, modifying rehabilitation plans and creating sustainable networks of support. Case managers may also act as counselors, listening to client complaints and providing appropriate feedback.

Managerial Duties

Supportive case managers may also be responsible for supervisory and administrative duties, such as scheduling meetings and documenting observations. Additionally, case managers may participate in creating budgets, updating service logs and accounting for billing. Other duties may include documenting, maintaining and reviewing behavior records.


Supportive case managers typically need to have a bachelor's degree in human services, social work, psychology or other health-related field. Students enrolled in a 4-year bachelor's degree program may take advanced courses in crisis intervention, substance abuse and cognitive behavior. Some programs may offer concentrations in mental health or addiction studies. Other programs may offer internships, in which students may participate in supervised counseling sessions.

Some employers may prefer candidates who have a master's degree in mental health, human services or a related field. These 1-2 year advanced degree programs cover psychotherapy, research methodology and group counseling. Master's degree programs may also include internship opportunities, in which students counsel and assess clients under the supervision of a licensed health care professional.

Supportive case managers provide mentally ill patients with assistance concerning living conditions, goals, and therapeutic treatments. Duties may include meeting with patients, creating assessments, discussing treatment plans with care providers, supervising other case managers, administrative duties, and billing. Training requirements for this position usually include a bachelor's degree in fields related to human services, although a master's degrees could be required.

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