BLOG

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, August 1, 2017 by Greg Tipping

Pitfalls of Relying on Too Much Paper in Human Services

Going paperless is a priority for plenty of Human Services agencies, yet many organizations lack funding, resources, or proper justification to invest in technology and are forced to continue relying on time-consuming, labor-intensive, paper-based file systems and processes.

For those readers that fall into the latter, consider this: maintaining the status quo could actually be doing more harm than good—and costing more—to your agency in the long run.

Below are five risks to think about if your agency relies too much on paper documents and manual processes.

Read More
Posted Tuesday, June 13, 2017 by Rich Bowlen

What Causes Dark Data in Child Welfare? [Infographic]

Finding specific evidence to conclusively support a decision can be overwhelming, if not impossible, for Child Welfare social workers, supervisors, and directors.

Just think about it: if social workers were only responsible for one case, they (in theory) could spend all their time familiarizing themselves with the information in just that one case. Then, when it came time to make an important decision, they could feel confident about the intimate details of the child, family, or situation in question, and know exactly where to find the data they’d need to support their claim. But that’s not the case.

Read More
Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2017 by Rich Diers

Call to Action: Improving IT Procurement in Human Services

Government’s IT procurement process is under fire.

For starters, it’s rigorous, antiquated, and time-consuming—a sentiment that rings true whether you’re the program administrator requesting technology, the state official managing access to the technology, or the provider, like us, working diligently to get your technology in agencies’ hands to help them help others.

Read More
Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by Rich Bowlen

New Research and Reading Recommendations for Child Welfare

The more you know, the better decisions you can make on behalf of a child. But finding time to sift through research and read up on the trends impacting the industry is easier said than done.

As the former director of a child and adult protective services agency, I know how hard it is to keep up with the information in your own cases, let alone what’s going on outside the agency’s walls. That’s why I try to always carve out time to identify valuable tools, links, and resources that can help any director researching critical topics and trends like change management, CCWIS, and technology in social work.

Read More
Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2017 by Team Northwoods

35 Apps for the Mobile Social Worker

Social workers spend so much of their time in the field visiting families and traveling between appointments. But workers don't have to be away from important information just because they're away from their computers.

Here are 35 apps that can help mobile social workers stay safe, save time, engage kids and adults, find resources for clients, and even deal with stress.

Read More
Posted Thursday, April 27, 2017 by Rich Bowlen

Traverse in Action: Complete Case History Helps Social Workers Achieve Permanence for Children

Angel, a Foster Care & Treatment Social Worker in North Carolina, and Andrea, a Caseworker & Kinship Assessor in Ohio, are working toward the same goal: find the best placement the first time for a child coming into each of their agency’s care.

But critical information about the child—relatives, behavioral issues, or medical history—is often hidden or virtually impossible to retrieve. Without a full picture of the child’s detailed past and present, it’s difficult for Angel and Andrea to find the right placement at the right time, and most importantly, the first time.

Read More
Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017 by Rich Bowlen

Traverse Case Discovery: Confident Decisions. Safer Children and Families.

Finding the best placement the first time for a child coming into care is every foster care or kinship social worker’s mission. But that’s easier said than done when you only have a partial understanding of the child’s story. What if you could uncover a complete history of previous placements, medications, behavioral issues, and other key information to shape your decision? 

Maybe you’re new to the case or an on call social worker required to immediately find a safe place for a child to stay the night. With little time and a lot at stake, you need a complete understanding of the family and case in a moment’s notice. What are the important medical and emotional needs? What can help minimize trauma? 

Imagine if a child's case file could talk to you. Imagine if you could gain immediate insights from a wealth of historical knowledge to make quick decisions about safety and lessen the hurt just a little.

Read More
Posted Friday, April 21, 2017 by Team Northwoods

The Big Idea Becomes Reality to Help Kids and Caseworkers

Here at Northwoods, we’re big believers that our past should always shape our future. This week, we’re sharing a little piece of Northwoods’ historyas told by our executive vice president and chief operating officer, Chris Carlsonto give you a glimpse into where we’ve been and where we’re heading. This is chapter 4 (here are chapter 1, chapter 2, and chapter 3 in case you missed them).

Read More
Posted Thursday, April 20, 2017 by Team Northwoods

Two Guys, One Idea, and the Possibility to Help Hundreds of Kids in Need

Here at Northwoods, we’re big believers that our past should always shape our future. This week, we’re sharing a little piece of Northwoods’ historyas told by our executive vice president and chief operating officer, Chris Carlsonto give you a glimpse into where we’ve been and where we’re heading. This is chapter 3 (here are chapter 1 and chapter 2 in case you missed them).

Read More
Posted Wednesday, April 19, 2017 by Team Northwoods

The Social Worker with a Big Mission: Do the Most Good for the Most Kids

Here at Northwoods, we’re big believers that our past should always shape our future. This week, we’re sharing a little piece of Northwoods’ historyas told by our executive vice president and chief operating officer, Chris Carlsonto give you a glimpse into where we’ve been and where we’re heading. This is chapter 2 (here’s chapter 1 in case you missed it).

Read More