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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 Friday, September 23, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

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

There’s a tsunami coming in aging and adult services. Will your program be ready when it hits?

Within the next four years, the elderly population in the United States is expected to increase to 54.6 million – meaning nearly 8 million more people over the age of 65 in 2020 than there are today.

And what does this aging population mean for your program? You guessed it: Even. More. Paperwork.

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Posted Friday, August 19, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Not Your Granddaddy’s Technology Implementation

Have you ever had to sit in a room for hours upon hours listening to someone explain how a new technology is going to work, and then by the time you get back to your computer and try to start using the tool, you completely forget what you were supposed to do? So. Incredibly. Frustrating.

Not only is it frustrating, but it’s inefficient too. In fact, research has shown that students only retain 20% of information they learn by sitting and listening passively in a lecture-style environment.

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Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Debunking Common Child Welfare Social Work Myths and Misperceptions

Social workers do too much. Social workers don’t do enough. Social workers make decisions on a whim. Social workers tear families apart.

If someone doesn’t understand the intricacies of working with families involved in a child welfare case, or realize the roller coaster of emotions felt when making decisions that affect a child’s life, it’s easy to make assumptions and judgments about what social workers do.

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Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Understanding and Applying the Human Services Value Curve

Last month, a few Northwoodians attended APHSA’s National Health & Human Services Summit. We attended sessions focused on predictive analytics, preventative care, improving outcomes, and integrating services, all of which had one theme in common: transforming the industry through the Human Services Value Curve.

What is the Human Services Value Curve, you ask? Keep reading to learn more.

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Posted Thursday, June 23, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

How to Assemble a "Justice League" of Tech Teams

Having the right people on a technology implementation team is make or break for project success. Too often in human services, the right people aren’t involved from the beginning and by the time the project hits end users, it’s dead in the water.

In our experience, assembling a clearly defined team is the first step toward increasing user adoption when it comes to technology. While the number of people involved may differ depending on the size of your agency and the scope of the project, the general makeup should be the same.

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Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Removing the Risk Factor from Organizational Process Change

Organizational process change is often the riskiest aspect of implementing new software for human services agencies. Yet in order for agencies to continuously improve, all stakeholders must be willing to embrace these changes – and the risk and fear that accompany them.

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Posted Monday, May 30, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

5 Proven Ways to Make Technology Adoption Stick in Human Services

Have you ever rolled out a new technology solution, only for no one at your agency to use it? Frustrating? Of course. Fixable? Absolutely.

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? Why do some agencies implement a technology solution, only to watch it fail on the front lines?

We’ll let you in on a little secret: A little bit of planning, foresight, and a properly aligned approach can often make the difference between whether or not new technology flourishes or fails. 

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Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Wearing Blue Unites Ohio Against Child Abuse

Children services agencies and businesses across Ohio supported child abuse prevention by dressing in blue on April 13, 2016, for Wear Blue, the statewide awareness campaign that takes place on the second Wednesday of every April, Child Abuse Prevention Month. Ohioans are encouraged to wear blue that day - to work, to school, to a community event - to show support for preventing child abuse and neglect.

Northwoodians proudly joined child welfare advocates across Ohio by donning our blue.

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