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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 Thursday, November 3, 2016 by Team Northwoods

The Secret Behind Lenoir County's Child Support Success

Type. Print. Cut. Paste. Print again. Repeat.
Type. Print. Cut. Paste. Print again. Repeat.

For child support caseworkers at Lenoir County Department of Social Services (DSS), creating court orders and motions was a tedious, paper-heavy, and time-consuming process.

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Posted Monday, October 31, 2016 by Greg Tipping

Bring Your Document Management Back from the Dead

For many human services agencies, important documents and case information are long gone as soon as they’re filed in the system.

Think about it this way: most basic document management systems force workers to wait until the end of a case to scan and file their documents, which means they don’t have access to information when they really need it – while working the case. It’s hard for supervisors to coach and advise workers when they don’t have instant access to information either.

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Posted Thursday, October 20, 2016 by Team Northwoods

Color For A Kid Benefitting Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®

Coloring is good for the mind, body, and soul. (Seriously, even CNN says it's true.)

Last year, we started handing out coloring pages and pencils at conferences, knowing that sometimes social workers just need a bit of a distraction to help them recharge and refocus. The coloring pages were so popular that we found ourselves running out at almost every event, which got us thinking ... What if we could use this simple activity to benefit workers and kids at the same time?

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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 Wednesday, September 21, 2016 by Team Northwoods

An Essential Reading List for Human Services Agency Directors

No matter how many different priorities human services agency directors juggle, one thing always remains the same: wanting to deliver the best possible experience and outcomes for the families that rely on your agency’s services.

That means carving out time to research what’s going on in the industry as a whole, what other agencies and programs are doing to improve service delivery, and what new tools and technology are emerging to help workers do their jobs better.

We’ve rounded up five of our favorite government, human services, and technology websites to help agency directors get ahead of the curve.

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Posted Monday, August 29, 2016 by Team Northwoods

The Do’s and Don’ts of Human Services Technology Implementation [Resource Recap]

Over the past few months, we’ve discussed a handful of factors that can make or break your human services technology implementation. Maybe you’ve read and bookmarked every post, or maybe this is your first time even realizing that this blog exists (in that case, hello!).

Either way, we thought it would be helpful to recap all the handy tips and tricks we’ve shared in an infographic The Do’s and Don’ts of Human Services Technology Implementation.

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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 Wednesday, July 20, 2016 by Greg Tipping

Time to Update Your Human Services Document Management System?

Now is the time for government agencies to modernize their approach to document management.

In fact, as we publish this blog post, four out of five agencies are either actively in the process of doing so or planning to in the future, according to research from the Center for Digital Government.

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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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