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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.

Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2018 by Rich Diers

Is Your Public Assistance Program Using the Right Document Capture Tools?

Public Assistance caseworkers face constant deadlines to process applications and redeterminations.

However, outdated, inefficient document management tools and processes often get in the way, which can delay clients from receiving the benefits they need.

This could leave them feeling frustrated and vulnerable. Of course, that’s the opposite of what caseworkers are aiming to do.

The good news? The right technology can help alleviate these problems, allowing caseworkers to serve their clients quickly and professionally and start them on the path to stability and well-being.

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Posted Friday, May 25, 2018 by Rich Bowlen

From Foster Care to Forever Family

Editor's note: Earlier this week, we shared 10 Inspiring Foster Care Success Stories in honor of National Foster Care Month. Today, we have one more story from Rich Bowlen, Northwoods' vice president of protective services.

Rich previously spent 25 years in Child and Adult Protective Services working tirelessly to do the most good for the most vulnerable kids, families, and adults. Today, he continues to advocate for social workers who commit themselves to making a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

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Posted Wednesday, May 23, 2018 by Team Northwoods

10 Inspiring Foster Care Success Stories

We’d like to take a moment to thank all the social workers who work tirelessly for children in foster care. Your days are long and too often touched by heartbreak. But because of your dedication and concern, you help create joy and hope for the families you serve.

In honor of National Foster Care Month, here are some amazing foster care success stories. We hope you find them to be an inspirational and heartwarming reminder of why you work so hard for your children and families.

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Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2018 by Aaron Caldwell

Activate Your Free Enrollment in Northwoods University

Editor's note: this blog post was originally published on March 13, 2017. We continue to update it as new courses and options become available in Northwoods University.

If you’ve ever had a question about using our software, you’re probably aware that answers to your questions are at your fingertips, starting with our robust online product help and extending to points of contact within your agency and through the Northwoods Support Center.

Still, our customers told us they’d like to see more. What about new workers who just need some help getting started with the software? Experienced workers who’d like a little refresher on a specific task? Or even supervisors and program managers looking for resources to support their teams?

We’re excited to announce that, in addition to our existing sources for product help, all users now have on-demand access to tutorial videos and product training through Northwoods University.

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Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2018 by Rupam Chokshi

5 Ways a System of Engagement Benefits Child Welfare

Modernizing to the new Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (CCWIS) creates a major opportunity for Child Welfare organizations to apply innovative solutions to overcome systematic barriers.

However, too many states and agencies may still view CCWIS as the next Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) with little change.

Where SACWIS was more of a “one-size-fits-all” model, CCWIS allows agencies to tailor their IT needs to align with their unique program requirements.

This opens the door for Child Welfare organizations to consider next-generation technology, like a system of engagement, that revolutionizes how social workers deliver services and interact with clients.

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Posted Monday, May 7, 2018 by Rich Bowlen

Traverse: Transforming the Way Protective Services Work with Families to Improve Outcomes

"I'm big on efficiencies and using technology. If you're not using the latest and greatest software, you're behind." – Justin Zmyewski, Houston County (Minnesota) Commissioner

For Northwoods, the “latest and greatest software” means something that’s designed to work the way Child and Adult Protective Services agencies work.

That’s why we created Traverse®—a content collection and case discovery solution that empowers Protective Services to make informed, confident decisions about safety.

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Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2018 by Team Northwoods

Celebrating Social Work Month

Social workers are superheroes. Here at Northwoods, we wholeheartedly believe that.

In honor of Social Work Month, we want to take a minute to say thank you to all of the brave and amazing social workers and caseworkers who inspire change, no matter how small, every day.

Since this year's theme is "Social Workers: Leaders. Advocates. Champions," we're sharing some of the best things we've heard about what motivates social workers to help vulnerable kids and families overcome some of life's toughest challenges. 

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Posted Thursday, March 15, 2018 by Rich Bowlen

How Does the Opioid Epidemic Impact Child Welfare Caseworkers?

Kristi Burre has spent almost 20 years working in public service and child protection, but she’s never seen a greater need to support her caseworkers than she does today.

As Deputy Director of Fairfield County Child and Adult Protective Services in Ohio, Kristi has a front row seat to watch how the opioid epidemic wreaks havoc both inside and outside the agency’s walls.

As a result, she says, “The needs of our families, the needs of our children, and the needs of our system are more critical than they’ve ever been before.”

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Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2018 by Team Northwoods

Building Software to Solve Social Problems (Q&A with Northwoods Chief Technology Officer Don Abney)

Don Abney, Northwoods’ Chief Technology Officer, has spent the last 20 years developing and delivering technology services across several industries. He’s also one of the smartest humans you’ll ever meet.

Don recently sat down with our Business Development team to answer some questions about how Product Delivery (PD) at Northwoods continues to evolve and innovate to meet customers' needs.

His answers were just too good not to share!

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Posted Monday, January 15, 2018 by Team Northwoods

8 Can't Miss Conferences for Human Services in 2018

New year, new opportunities!

If one of your goals for 2018 is to keep your finger on the pulse of key issues, trends, and topics impacting your agency and/or community, attending one or two industry conferences throughout the year is a great way to get started.

We've vetted and attended a lot of conferences over time, and we like to start each new year with a list of recommendations.

This list represents events that not only have amazing programming and speakers, but also build in time for attendees to network, share ideas, and discuss how they're addressing key opportunities and challenges.

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