All the maternity group homes we visited provide case management services for their residents. While some case management may take place on an ad hoc basis, many homes require residents to attend regular individual meetings with their case manager. Such sessions are commonly scheduled once a week.
Case management sessions often involve setting personal goals and discussing progress on achieving them. At some homes, case managers develop an individual service plan for each resident that includes goals related to parenting, education, health, and family interaction. In addition, case management sessions often involve counseling (although the staff involved may not be licensed therapists) — for example, talking over residents’ issues and challenges.
Referrals are another important part of case management. In addition to the array of services home staff can provide directly to their residents, case managers work to connect residents with providers of other services that the homes themselves cannot provide. Although some homes are themselves able to offer direct services to meet almost all of their residents’ needs, all homes must refer their residents to outside providers for at least some services. In addition to the types of services discussed elsewhere in this chapter, home staff provide referrals to a number of other services — for example, medical and substance abuse treatment and education or training programs. Often, when a teen first enters a maternity group home, case management staff will work to get her connected with various resources and programs, including TANF, food stamps, and Medicaid benefits, school, and day care for their children.
At some homes, residents’ meetings with case management staff may become shorter or less frequent over time. Just before a resident leaves the home (possibly moving into a housing situation her case manager helped her find or apply for), the case manager will often work with her to plan her transition to independent living and arrange for any follow-up services the home may provide. Many homes also offer continued case management services to their former residents.5