Title

Strengths-Based Case Management: Individuals' Perspectives of Strengths and the Case Manager Relationship

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-2001

Abstract

Strengths-based practice in social work has a strong theoretical foundation as an effective helping strategy that builds on a person's successes. Although there is growing empirical evidence informing outcomes associated with strengths-based approaches, missing from the literature is an understanding of how individuals who receive these services view their experiences. Qualitative data collection methods were used to gather individuals' experiences of participating in strengths-based case management implemented in a substance abuse aftercare program. The research questions that guided the study were "What are individuals' perceptions of strengths-based case management?" and "How do those perceptions compare and contrast to the key principles of strengths-based case management?" The emerging themes centered on individuals' responses to a focus on strengths (acceptance of strengths; holding on to strengths and deficits simultaneously; and initial mistrust of the approach) and to the relationship with the case manager (acceptance of the relationship; guilt when success is not achieved; and not needing the relationship). Implications for social work practice are discussed.