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Case Management The Social Worker as Broker Purpose To link clients to appropriate human services and other resources Description Social work s particular emphasis among the helping professions is to assist people in relating to their social environment That places the social worker in the position of being the professional person most likely to facilitate linkage between client and community resources i e to bring together a person needing a service and a provider of that service To carry out the broker role the social worker identifies clients needs assesses their motivation and capacity to use various resources and helps them gain access to the most appropriate resources As a broker of human services the social worker must be knowledgeable about the various services and programs available maintain an up to date assessment of each one s strengths and limitations and understand the procedures for accessing those resources These resources may include social provisions e g money food clothing and housing and or social services e g counseling therapy group interaction experiences and rehabilitative services Functions Client Situation Assessment The first step in brokering is to understand thoroughly and accurately the needs and abilities of the client or clients An effective broker should be skilled at assessing such factors as the client s vulnerability culture resources verbal ability emotional stability intelligence and commitment to change Resource Assessment The social worker must assess the various resources available to meet client needs For his or her own agency as well as for other community agencies the social worker must be familiar with what is offered the quality of staff the general eligibility requirements and the costs of those services Additionally the social worker must know the best way to help clients gain access to those resources Referral The process of connecting the client to a resource requires that the social worker make a judgment regarding

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