|The job of a foster care case coordinator is as busy as it is critical to providing safe haven to the children we serve. EHSC employs close to a dozen case coordinators managing the foster care cases we handle across eleven counties in the Carolinas. Here's just a snapshot of what those coordinators do.
Managing the needs of multiple children and families requires a great deal of communication and adaptation. That's why for each case coordinator, the day begins with following up on a multitude of phone and email correspondence with foster families, biologic parents, social service agencies, therapists and other parties.
When a new foster case is referred to a coordinator, the process of communication and documentation begins. Says EHSC case coordinator Michelle Richardson, "I contact the foster parents to introduce myself, make sure they have our on-call number and schedule a visit to come out and see the child." The coordinator also contacts the social worker to get the necessary paperwork to be completed and to gather additional background information. These are the first steps of many that lead to a plan of care for each case.
Careful monitoring is also a big part of the job. For every family they manage, coordinators make weekly check-in calls and conduct two home visits a month. They keep up with any family changes, medical and dental needs, potential safety concerns and child behavior. They interview the children and check on their sleeping and clothing accommodations. All of this, as well as any contact with social workers, biologic parents, therapists or school is documented in detail.
Coordinator Carolyn Stein shares, "A typical week for me includes transporting children to and from therapy appointments, conducting home visits, attending family team meetings and spending time updating progress notes and plans of care." It's all part of giving the best case management possible for the child.