As a case manager, this is your best opportunity to directly and significantly support your client’s case. Here’s a more in-depth guide for writing a function letter, and here’s an example of a strong one.

In short, a strong letter will do three things:

  1. Establish your relationship with your client:
    1. how long you have been working with the client
    2. how often you meet with them
    3. a list of any other supports they might have
    4. all the ways in which you support them.
  2. Provide a brief history of the client.
    1. Where do they live? If in a program, explain how it’s supportive.
    2. How long have they been diagnosed?
    3. If they have a trauma-related mental illness, explain any traumatic experiences.
  3. Detail the client’s symptoms, behaviors, and specific functional limitations.

HUGE: if you are able to get their prescribing doctor or psychiatrist to contribute to the letter or co-sign it, it will carry that much more weight.

These don’t have to come from just case managers either. A willing therapist or other clinician would be an excellent source for a letter.