Florida Child Welfare Case Management
More Than A Career — A Calling
Florida’s Child Welfare Case Managers touch lives every day. They work to connect struggling families with life-changing resources, and they serve as active advocates for abused and neglected children. The challenges of working in Child Welfare Case Management are great, but so are the rewards for those with a calling to care.
A career as a Case Manager isn’t for everyone. But is it for you? This website will help you decide. Learn more about the profession, the work, and the credentials needed for the job. Read testimonials from current Case Managers, and watch our realistic job preview video to see the challenges of this work up-close. Then browse available job openings if you wish to apply.
As a Child Welfare Case Manager in Florida, the first life you change will be your own.
Child Welfare Case Managers must be self-starters with a sense of calling to help others, a love of children, and unconditional positive regard for the families they serve. They must be willing to face the challenges of the job head-on, and have strong resiliency and coping skills to persevere through the stress of serving families in crisis daily. They must be connected to their community and eager to draw upon its available resources for children and families. They must be willing to serve as an advocate for clients and to fight for them to ensure that they get the services they need. At the same time, they must also be tenacious and motivated even when families are resistant. It is important that Case Managers display excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to connect with people from a wide range of backgrounds and personal circumstances.
Qualifications for the role often include:
- Bachelor's degree in Social Work or the human service field
- Two years of experience working with children and families
- Current and valid Florida driver's license and reliable transportation
- Ability to handle confidential information appropriately
- Basic computer proficiency
- Ability to set appropriate limits and boundaries with clients and to maintain professional boundaries
- Availability to work flexible hours as required
- Effective assessment and intervention skills
- Previous experience working with at-risk children and families, preferred
Please see the requirements for each job opening listed on this site, as the specific qualifications needed may differ from one organization to another. Prospective Case Managers must also watch our realistic job preview video before applying, to ensure that the career is a good match for their expectations and goals.
Get Real: Life As A Case Manager
Our video gives you a first-person look at the challenges and rewards of being a child welfare Case Manager in Florida. So take a look, then Get Real—and consider if Case Management is right for you.
Diverse Duties That Make A Difference
Florida's child welfare system operates on a Community-Based Care (CBC) model. CBC lead agencies oversee child welfare services in a specific judicial circuit and work with a number of partners. Case Managers may work for CBCs or for Case Management Organizations (CMOs) contracted to perform Case Management duties.
Child Welfare Case Managers provide evaluations and needs assessments. They assist children and their families by helping to articulate important goals, by providing valuable information, and by coordinating access to services. They also provide in-home supportive counseling services as required. Details may differ depending upon the organization, but the scope of work for Case Managers typically includes the following:
- Assessing the safety and well being of children on a regular basis through home visits and individual conversations with children and caregivers
- Developing and maintaining case records and program documentation according to contract and CHS standards (assessments, case plans, progress notes, termination summaries, etc.)
- Facilitating psycho-educational groups and educational classes such as parenting skills, independent living skills, anger management, behavior management, etc.
- Coordinating and supervising family visitation as necessary
- Arranging for transportation of clients to appointments, community agencies, etc. as needed Assisting families in meeting their goals to assist in ensuring safe and stable homes for children
- Presenting in Court regarding efforts made and case progress
Every Day Is Different
Florida relies on its Child Welfare Case Managers to serve as the direct contact between children, families, and the state's system of support. These professionals occupy many worlds, straddling Case Management Organizations (CMO), Community-Based Care (CBC) agencies, the judicial system, mental health organizations and issues, and the everyday difficulties of performing positive social work among struggling children and families.
Like most important jobs, Case Management isn't easy: it involves stress, long hours, lots of paperwork, and many responsibilities. But unlike most other careers, Case Managers must confront tragedies most would rather not face—including physical and sexual child abuse, extreme child neglect, domestic violence, filthy living conditions, mental illness, and substance abuse. Fortunately, those with a strong calling to help others can and do rise to the challenge.
How Case Managers are able to help often differs from expectations, however. Some individuals enter the profession with the expectation that they will spend most of their time working directly with children. Instead, far more hours are spent coordinating social services, documenting all aspects of the case, working with the judicial system, meeting with biological or foster parents, driving to and from appointments, and completing many other tasks. No two days are the same. But this the work that, little by little, supports struggling families, helps children, and changes lives for good.
For more information on Child Welfare Case Managers, visit our FAQ page.