The role of Caseworker

In January Paul wrote a blog about the role of Caseworker, arguing that Caseworkers helped cases run more smoothly and as a result helped home improvement agencies and adaptations services deliver their services more efficiently.

Caseworkers are crucial in delivering a person-centred service, a point highlighted in the DFG Review. This included a comment from ‘Adaptations: finding ways to say yes’ (Frances Heywood, SAUS, 1994) which noted “’good practise’ means ‘good’ from the point of view of those who need adaptations: the users”. The need for a person-centred service is highlighted elsewhere in the DFG Review with the recommendation that there is a “single point of access with ‘good conversations’ at the start and people routed down appropriate pathways”, together with ensuring that ways of ‘Making Every Contact Count’ work more effectively.

At the Caseworkers’ Forum meeting held in London in June, we again considered the role of the Caseworker. A presentation from Kevin Ayers, who manages Norwich City Council’s HIA, outlined how the Caseworker acts as the essential single point of contact for the client throughout the process, with advantages including saving the time of Occupational Therapists and surveyors whilst ensuring clear communication with the client, with the Caseworker coordinating the input from other professionals and dealing with all client queries.

Part of the role of the Caseworker is also to consider how a client’s accommodation needs both now and, in the future, can best be met. This might be through an adaptation, but it might also be by considering a move to a more suitable property. Adam Hillier from Elderly Accommodation Counsel outlined the Housing Options for Older People (HOOP) tool, which can help Caseworkers, the client and their family identify all the factors that need to be taken into account when considering the best solution to enabling someone to continue to live independently, safely and well in their own home.

This is, after all, what Home Improvement Agencies are all about!