Our blog isn’t about us. It’s about you. We discuss business challenges and real issues human service agencies and caseworkers face everyday. You’ll find traditional human services software articles about things like document management for human services and social work technology. But you’ll also find inspirational stories to boost caseworkers’ spirits and tools to help agencies find and gain support for technology in human services.

Rich Bowlen's Articles

Posted Tuesday, March 21, 2017 by Rich Bowlen

10 Tips on Self-Care for Social Workers

Social workers often spend so much of their time advocating and standing up for children and families that they sometimes overlook the importance of taking care of themselves. While the rewards of being a social worker are plentiful, the job can take its toll – mentally and physically.

Here are 10 simple ways social workers can practice self-care, manage stress and burnout, and boost their well-being even on the most difficult days.

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Posted Sunday, January 15, 2017 by Rich Bowlen

Dark Data is Hiding in Your Child Welfare Case Files

It is unrealistic for anyone in child welfare to remain constantly up to date on every case, especially when so much of the information is hiding in the dark. Yet, everyone expects the child welfare social worker to do just that.

Think about it: the average case file contains over a thousand documents, or approximately four to five thousand pages of information – and it's being added to every day by countless entities. On top of that, workers are managing an average 24-31 cases each.

How can a worker be expected to find the right information as quickly as necessary when they have to sift through so much information to find it?

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Posted Friday, September 23, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Is Your Aging and Adult Services Program Ready for the “Silver Tsunami?”

Aging and adult services workers have always needed to be able to manage client and case information while they’re in the office, but what’s more important as caseloads grow in size and complexity is providing them access to files while they’re in the field. A mobile document management solution is one way to ensure that workers are never without the information they need.

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Posted Friday, August 19, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Not Your Granddaddy’s Technology Implementation

Human services workers are expected to juggle a lot of projects and priorities at once. That's why when it comes to learning new technology, you don't have time to sit in a classroom for days. Instead, you need training and support when and how it fits into your day-to-day work – which is often in the field, from an app, or via a web-based interaction. Learn how an interactive coaching approach to training and support will determine technology user adoption, and thus the success or failure of a project.

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Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Debunking Common Child Welfare Social Work Myths and Misperceptions

If someone doesn't understand the intricacies of working with families involved in a child welfare case, it's easy to make assumptions and judgments about what social workers do. Remove the child, and it's too much. Don't remove the child, and it's not enough. Everything is black and white, right? Wrong. We've debunked some of the most commonly heard myths and misperceptions surrounding social work, specifically child welfare.

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Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Understanding and Applying the Human Services Value Curve

A new Northwoodians attended APHSA's National Health & Human Services Summit in May, where sessions focused on transforming the industry through the Human Services Value Curve. We rounded up some resources to help agencies better understand the Value Curve, plus think about how applying it can lead to better outcomes and greater impact.

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Posted Thursday, June 23, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

How to Assemble a "Justice League" of Tech Teams

With the right team involved at the right time, you can increase user adoption and ensure the success of your technology implementation. We’ve identified four categories of members to include in your technology implementation team, as well as how to evaluate who should fulfill each role.

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Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Removing the Risk Factor from Organizational Process Change

Change can be difficult for organizations and individuals alike. Nevertheless, human services agencies must embrace organizational process changes – and the risk and fear that accompany them – in order to drive continuous improvement. Learn how to mitigate risk and remove fear from organizational process change to ensure your agency’s future initiatives will succeed.

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Posted Monday, May 30, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

5 Proven Ways to Make Technology Adoption Stick in Human Services

Technology is improving efficiencies in the workplace like never before. So why is it that so many human services agencies struggle with getting their teams to adopt these new tools? If you want to make technology adoption stick, follow these five proven – and practical – ways to make sure any new technology you roll out within your agency has the impact you’ve been planning for.

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Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Wearing Blue Unites Ohio Against Child Abuse

Northwoodians proudly united with child welfare advocates across Ohio by donning our blue for Wear Blue to show support for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

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