Families as Managers of Care and Services

Families as Managers of Care and Services

Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

The family also is the case manager for the person with a TBI. As professionals and programs change over time, families find that they are responsible for managing the care and services of the survivor of a brain injury. By adapting the case management skills used by professionals, this tip card shows families 6 steps for how to communicate effectively, negotiate for services and become effective managers and advocates to address the needs of the survivor.

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Full Description

Acting as case manager of TBI services, the family has new challenges. Six basic skills used by professional case managers are adapted for families who are coordinating brain injury services. Shows how families can be involved and more effective in assessment, information gathering, This tip card shows how to use skills of assessment, information gathering, referral, service coordination, advocacy and evaluation for a brain injury service plan It helps prepare families to communicate effectively as managers of care and services for brain injury survivors at home and in the community.

Pages 8
Year Second edition, 2011


Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

Ms Lash uses her social work experience and research in pediatric rehabilitation to develop sensitive and practical guides for families, educators, and professionals. Her specialty is helping families cope with the emotional impact of brain injury and developing strategies for negotiating the complex service system. Now President and Senior Editor of Lash and Associates Publishing/Training, she focuses on developing user friendly publications for families, educators, and clinicians.


This tip card helps families apply case management skills to…

  • communicate effectively
  • negotiate services
  • become effective managers

Families as Managers

Skill 1: Assessment or How has the brain injury affected my family member?

  • Provide information about the injury…
  • Describe how the injury has affected...
  • Practice replying to key questions by professionals, including….
  • Tips for describing the effects of the brain injury

Skill 2: Information gathering or What do I need to know?

  • Tips for gathering information
  • Ask if the following affect eligibility for services and programs
  • Keeping track of information…take a 3 ring binder and create sections for…

Skill 3: Referral or When do I need to get someone else involved?

  • When you think about a referral, ask…
  • Families can help make referrals effective by...

Skill 4: Service Coordination or How do I put this all together?

  • Figure out where and how to focus your time and energy

Skill 5: Advocacy or How do I help others understand what is needed?

  • Most common barriers families come up against that require advocacy are…
  • To be an effective advocate you must…

Skill 6: Evaluation or Is this working?

  • Evaluate programs and professionals by asking questions
  • Criteria that families have used to evaluate professionals and programs




Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.

Skill 1: Assessment or How has the brain injury affected my family member?

Professionals have many methods to assess patients or clients. The family’s relationship with the person before and after the brain injury is just as important as any formal testing or examination by a clinician. The family still knows this person better than anyone. No one else has your experience and view.

You can start by preparing a brief description of the individual’s history, strengths, difficulties and needs. It may take you a while, but getting this down to a 5 minute summary makes it an effective introduction. Practice by developing and rehearsing a short summary that includes:

Information about the injury...

  • how long ago it happened
  • how the person was hurt
  • how serious the injury was
  • if the person was in a coma and for how long
  • if there were other injuries
  • how long the hospital stay was

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