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Posted Tuesday, January 15, 2019 by Team Northwoods

Cayuga County Implementing Artificial Intelligence for Caseworkers

Caseworkers get real-time data; spend more time with families

DUBLIN, OH—January 15, 2019—Cayuga County, New York, is upgrading its software systems to provide child welfare and adult services caseworkers in the Department of Social Services (DSS) with new technology that uses artificial intelligence.

Caseworkers estimate they spend 70 percent of their time on paperwork, but because information is scattered between online systems and paper case files they lack real-time data to make safety decisions.

"Paperwork takes a lot of time away from working with families and kids. It’s a struggle for caseworkers to have all the information available at their fingertips to make decisions quickly,” said Raymond Bizzari, commissioner, Cayuga County DSS.

The agency will equip its 40+ caseworkers with Traverse®, a product that will collect, view and share case content in a secure manner from anywhere at any time—from the office to the field. The technology will help caseworkers manage and access the volume of content in case files so they can spend more time doing high-value work and risk assessments with children and families. Caseworkers will use the web-based application in the office to scan and upload documents and a companion mobile app to easily take photos and complete forms during home visits.

All the data and content collected both in the office and in the field is automatically analyzed by Traverse using artificial intelligence to surface data that often becomes dark, hidden or virtually impossible to retrieve. Traverse extracts critical information about the major topics, related events and people connected to the case to help caseworkers make informed, confident decisions about safety.

“The way Traverse collects and organizes information lets the caseworker view everything: past history, whether someone can be a family resource, the history of a particular person, who is connected to who, all the releases and medical information,” Commissioner Bizzari said.

“We are excited about the process improvements Traverse is expected to facilitate for our caseworkers and the projected improvements in services for the families we serve,” said J. Justin Woods, Cayuga County’s County Administrator.

Giving caseworkers a tool that removes administrative barriers will make them more efficient and effective.

“What's important to our staff is making a difference in people's lives. Traverse is expected to bring organization to all the administrative work that goes into managing and processing information, which should save a lot of time and let caseworkers devote greater bandwidth to the family,” Commissioner Bizzari said.

About Northwoods 
Northwoods develops customized, high-tech software solutions for adult & aging, child support, child welfare and economic assistance. We help state and county human services agencies do more with less and get the results they need. Nearly 45,000 caseworkers across the country use our solutions to manage, collect, view and share content and data more efficiently. As a result, agencies improve service delivery, maximize productivity, make informed decisions and achieve better outcomes. Northwoods is headquartered in Dublin, Ohio.