Case manager to assist Jewish community at no charge

MILWAUKEE – Jewish Family Services in Milwaukee is looking to add a case manager – someone to connect people in the Jewish community with resources that already exist – to its staff.

Once the position is filled, the Jewish community case manager’s role will be to assist people regardless of their insurance or financial circumstances. There will be no fee to meet with the case manager. The slot is funded by the Milwaukee Jewish Federation Annual Campaign.

In fact, the position is the result of a recommendation from the Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Human Services Task Force. That body combed through information from individuals in the community and various organizations.

“Case management was the number one need that we saw, that there would be an increase (in need) for in the future,” said Nancy Kennedy Barnett, chair of the task force. “There’ a gap. We’ve identified the gap. We can do something about this.”

The Task Force also found that in the Jewish community, shame can be a barrier to seeking help.

“Our research showed that people tend to feel shame,” said Federation Chief Marketing & Planning Officer Stephanie Wagner. “It’s hard to ask for help, to admit that you can’t meet your needs on your own.”

A case manager, particularly one who can appreciate how Jews of different stripes live their lives, can help with that. Cultural understanding can be linked with comfort in a sensitive situation, according to Kevin Boland, director of social services at Jewish Family Services. “That cultural competency is a big piece,” Boland said

It’s expected the case manager will work on a variety of issues, including aging, employment, financial needs, finding food, mental health and domestic violence, among others.