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Clinical Casework

People who seek treatment at the Austen Riggs Center have often experienced difficulties creating a satisfying life – in school, work, or other activities. Clinical social workers offer casework to help patients learn about barriers to greater independence, identify personally meaningful goals, and develop strengths they can draw upon in the future. Respectful of individual choices, we work with patients to develop a plan to leave Riggs better equipped to engage in life.

As a part of our integrated treatment model, casework is collaborative, addressing a range of issues that may include returning to school or work, finding recreational activities, managing finances, developing support networks, and identifying housing opportunities. Clinical social workers are available to assist with simple and complex tasks, from completing applications to exploring strategies to manage the stress associated with these activities.

This work provides opportunities to learn about setting realistic expectations, accepting help, working collaboratively, and taking initiative. Clinical social workers can help orient patients to the local Berkshire County community and assist them in locating meaningful activities beyond the Riggs campus. 

Discharge planning is another important aspect of casework. Clinical social workers engage patients and families in developing a transition plan designed to support the patient’s goals. This can include using our step-down programs and identifying treatment resources outside of Riggs. Clinical and financial considerations often play a role in this process, and social workers help to develop a timeline for discharge in close coordination with the patient, the family, and the treatment team.   

After discharge, clinical social workers follow up by phone with patients, family members, and outpatient treatment providers, and are available to offer additional referrals if needed.

Blog Posts About the Casework at Austen Riggs

Clinical Social Work at the Austen Riggs Center – Part 3: The Role of Discharge Planning

Part of a social worker's role at Austen Riggs is discharge planning and preparing for what comes after treatment.The goal of treatment at Riggs is to help patients become people taking charge of their lives, so having a framework that acknowledges, discusses and plans for what comes after treatment at Riggs is an important part of the treatment itself.  


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