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What’s the Difference between a Social Worker and a Case Manager?

March is National Social Worker Appreciation Month, and we are thrilled to be able to honor social workers. This year’s Social Work Month theme is  “Empowering Social Workers”. At Sunways, we have the opportunity to interact with Social Workers who are helping their patients discharge from a hospital or rehab, or working with Veterans. We […]
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March is National Social Worker Appreciation Month, and we are thrilled to be able to honor social workers. This year’s Social Work Month theme is  “Empowering Social Workers”. At Sunways, we have the opportunity to interact with Social Workers who are helping their patients discharge from a hospital or rehab, or working with Veterans. We also work with Case Managers in these situations which has us asking… what’s the difference between a Case Manager and a Social Worker? 


Both Case Managers and Social Workers are on a mission to help and support the people they work with, play a key role in the healthcare industry,  and have a profound impact on the well-being of their patients. Although social workers and case managers may seem similar, they have many differences when it comes to their job duties and their education, licensing, and certification requirements. (source: Indeed)

Case managers (whom we adore) provide their patients with the necessary assistance they need to be discharged from the Healthcare facility and function in society and refer them to the right services to ensure it happens. 

Social Workers can provide care to the patient and directly administer care services. In the article, Social Workers vs. Case Managers, Indeed states, “Essentially, while a social worker provides care to a client and offers them therapy, a case manager coordinates their treatment program instead of therapy.” (source: Indeed)

In addition to job duties, Social Workers and Case Managers differ in the education and training needed. While both professions require a bachelor’s degree, as a Social Worker you may require a Master’s Degree in Social Work. A master’s is also required to become a licensed clinical Social Worker.  

We hope this information helps to differentiate between Case Managers and Social Workers. We think both are pretty darn awesome, and we are so excited to celebrate Social Worker Appreciation Month.

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