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