By Theresa Litzinger, BA, MSN, RN, CCM

Where are all the pediatric case managers? I know they are out there. According to HRSA (2022) during 2019-2020, 1 in 5 or 14.1 million children in the United States had a special health care need. Children with special health care needs were four times as likely to have unmet health care with the most reported reasons being cost and appointment availability (Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Data Brief (

These issues, along with other associated functional, behavioral health, social, and economic concerns make these children and their family/caregivers candidates for case management. Why, then, is it so difficult to find information on best practices for pediatric case management? What is a typical caseload? How do the standards of practice apply to children and their caregivers? What are the best ways to teach inexperienced staff to be pediatric case managers, and how best to communicate with parents of a child with complex medical needs? These are a few of the questions I continually asked myself as a supervisor and manager of Pediatric case managers.

Through experience and trial and error, I have navigated through my case management career, but have rarely found evidence to back up my actions, or solid guidance from other pediatric case managers. For years I have complained to anyone who would listen about the lack of information available about pediatric case management best practices. Sure, there are plenty of scholarly articles written by physicians about care coordination for children with complex medical needs, but not much for front-line case managers working with this population. Then one day I heard a voice in my head say, “Hey you know a lot about pediatric case management…speak up!” That is when I decided to get involved with CMSA and join the Education Committee, and I am so happy I did.

I must admit, I didn’t know what to expect when I joined the CMSA education committee, I just knew that I wanted to bring a voice to the pediatric population. 

It was a little intimidating to be on a committee with accomplished professionals who have been integral in the growth of CMSA, and I was not sure I had anything of value to offer. What a pleasant surprise to be welcomed to the team with open arms! Not only have I felt respected and part of the team, but I have also met amazing, passionate professionals who have taught me so much about being a case manager and leader. The education committee works to supply relevant continuing education for all levels of case management experience, from novice to expert, for nurses, social workers, and other health professionals. By being part of the committee, I have the opportunity to share my thoughts on important aspects of pediatric case management as well as bring the pediatric point of view to case management key components and practices.

CMSA has been making efforts to incorporate Maternal/Child case management into its scope. This was clear at the 2023 CMSA conference where I was privileged to have the opportunity to sit with a discussion panel on children with special needs joined by other experienced pediatric care managers from various settings. I was pleasantly surprised to see the room filled with an audience of conference participants interested in pediatric case management. There was also a well-attended round table discussion related to pediatric case management. Who knew? There are others out there hungry to discuss pediatrics and add to the knowledge base. In addition to the 2023 Conference sessions, CMSA recently focused on publications on Maternal Child and Pediatric issues. It is so encouraging. Thank you, CMSA for including Pediatrics in the case management conversation. I am more excited than ever to take part in this growing agenda through active involvement with CMSA and the education committee.

What about you? If you are a pediatric case manager in any setting, get involved, share your knowledge and ideas, and let your voice be heard to improve the pediatric case management world!

Reference: HRSA Maternal and Child Health. (2022). Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs NSCH Data Brief. Retrieved from Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Data Brief (

Education is a cornerstone of the value CMSA provides. We are proud to offer the CMSA Career & Knowledge Pathways, a set of six educational offerings that provide comprehensive continuing education for any level of case manager, in any practice setting. Use these tools to enhance and extend your career and provide the help you need for growth in all aspects of case management. Learn more about CMSA educational offerings for members by clicking here:

Bio: Theresa Litzinger, BA, MSN, RN, CCM,  is a pediatric nurse with over 40 years experience including staff nurse, case manager, supervisor and manager. She holds a BA in Elementary and Special Education as well as an MSN in Nursing Administration.