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Posted Wednesday, December 9, 2015 by Team Northwoods

Chemung County Caseworkers Swap Paper for Mobile App

Chemung County Caseworkers Swap Paper for Mobile App

Child welfare caseworkers save time on paperwork, spend more time with families

DUBLIN, OH—December 9, 2015—A mobile app is helping child welfare caseworkers in Chemung County, N.Y., spend more time working with children and families and less time on paperwork, according to a new case study released today by Northwoods.

To improve family engagement and child safety while also meeting state and federal documentation requirements, Chemung County Department of Social Services (DSS) began a pilot project with Northwoods to help caseworkers in the Child Advocacy Center (CAC). The CAC investigates extreme cases of child abuse, sexual abuse, and fatalities.

Based on the success of the pilot project, Chemung County DSS rolled out the mobile software application to the entire Children and Family Services Division, totaling 42 caseworkers who investigate suspected abuse and neglect, provide ongoing services to families, and work in foster care and adoption.

Northwoods’ mobile document management solution, Compass® CoPilot, has helped Chemung County DSS:

  • Spend more time interacting with families
  • Complete notes 91% faster
  • Capture more accurate notes
  • Reduce time spend on paperwork by 1 hour per day
  • Improve caseworker morale

Caseworkers are using the mobile app to electronically capture documents and case notes, take date- and time-stamped photos of families and living situations, complete forms with clients and have them electronically signed, and access necessary documents in the field.

Prior to using Compass CoPilot, caseworkers had difficulty meeting state regulations to enter case notes contemporaneously. It took an average of 35 days for caseworkers to complete and enter case notes into Connections. Caseworkers now comply with the state regulations because they are entering notes within an average of three days, a 91% improvement.

Reducing the paperwork burden helps caseworkers increase the amount of quality time they spend with families, which is the best way for Chemung County DSS to improve safety outcomes, reduce reoccurrence and establish permanency for children.

"I'm able to do more out in the field instead of having to worry about my paper notes. It allows me to be more active with my families,” said Kristen Sternquist, CAC caseworker.

View the Chemung County DSS written case study and video case study.

About Northwoods
Northwoods’ only focus is helping state and county human services agencies increase client service levels and productivity while cutting costs — allowing them to do more with less. Northwoods’ human services software solutions are designed around caseworkers and social workers, not simply data collection. Our Compass®products automate the flow of client and case information based on how caseworkers throughout the agency need to use it. Northwoods is headquartered in Dublin, Ohio. For more information, visit

Tiffany Himmelreich