Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Maria Dinis

Second Advisor

Clarice Staff

Third Advisor

Monica Feider


Changes in the mental health laws in the United States over the last 50 years has altered the manner in which individuals with a serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI) are involuntarily committed. The changes have increased the need for mental health professionals to be involved with the court system to aid in understanding the client's mental disorder. The Minnesota Comprehensive Adult and Children's Mental Health Act (MCACMHA) provides mental health case management for individuals with a SPMI. This exploratory study focuses on how the client-case manager relationship is impacted by the requirement that case managers be involved in all commitment procedures about clients. Previous research supports case management as an effective method of community treatment for the SPMI population, and that the client-case manager relationship was important for successful community integration and stabilization. Data for this study was attained through a self-administered survey to all Rule 79 case managers in an urban county (N:20). The study explored the effects on the client-case manager relationship when the case manager testifies about a client in commitment court- The findings indicated that there were consequential effects on the client-case manager relationship when a case manager testified in commitment court, such as a strained relationship or the client terminated the relationship. The findings suggested a gender difference in how male and female case managers, view the positive outcomes for the client-case manager relationship after testifying in court. Implications for social work practice and policy, along with recommendations for future research are discussed.


SC 11.MSW.1998.Nordin.TM

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Social Work Commons