Intensive Case Management (ICM) Teams

Intensive Case Management (ICM) teams are a team-based approach that supports individuals through a case management approach , the goal of which is to help clients maintain their housing and achieve an optimum quality of life through developing plans, enhancing life skills, addressing health and mental health needs, engaging in meaningful activities and building social and community relations. It has a moderately strong evidence base. It is designed for clients with lower acuity, but who are identified as needing intensive support for a shorter and time-delineated period.

The At Home/Chez Soi project has identified that for many clients, the first three months can be most challenging, and providing appropriate levels of support may be crucial for recovery and retention of housing.

The following are characteristics of ICM:

  • One-on-one case manager to client relationship using a recovery-oriented approach (the team of case managers many include Housing and Complementary Support Workers).
  • The case manager brokers access to mainstream services that the client identifies as needed to attain his or her goals.
  • The case manager often accompanies clients to meetings and appointments in support of their goals/needs.
  • Case managers are available on a regular schedule; caseloads are often shared to assure coverage of 7 days per week/12 hours a day.
  • The staff to client ratio is generally 1 case manager per 20 clients.
  • The duration of the service is determined by the needs of the client, with the goal of transitioning to mainstream services as soon as possible.

In the At Home/Chez Soi project, the average annual program costs (for housing and support) was $14,000 for ICM participants.

Based on the work of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Excerpted from Housing First in Canada: Supporting Communities to End Homelessness.