Expanded Broker Model

Staff members working in the expanded broker model, also called the generalist model, depend on making referrals to other agencies and services in the community for most of the basic services provided to their clients. This traditional case management model uses its staff primarily for assessment, planning, linking, and advocating. In general, the staff of the expanded broker model program acts as an agent for their client rather than a service provider. Staff members become resource persons steering their clients to different agencies or services to meet specific needs. Staff members also function as liaisons, advocates, and troubleshooters for their clients. For example, if a consumer is experiencing problems at his or her boarding home, the case manager might meet with the boarding home manager to discuss the problem and arrange for additional services, such as personal skills training (e.g., personal hygiene, clothes washing). It should be obvious from this example that for the staff member working in the expanded broker model, direct experience with existing community services (including knowing key staff persons, program rules and hours, etc.) is a must.

While its influence on the quality and emphasis of services provided is necessarily reduced, this model has the advantage of allowing for much larger caseloads than the other three models described here. Obviously, the effectiveness of the expanded broker model depends on the comprehensiveness and effectiveness of a community support system. In other words, this model has difficulty making up for the lack of available services because it can only link to what is currently available. The case management task in such an environment becomes one of ensuring that the consumer takes advantage of the services that are available.

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