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Posted Tuesday, July 7, 2020 by Team Northwoods

Cloud-Based Software to Help Hubbard County Social Services Staff Telework

Caseworkers and social workers can access electronic case files from anywhere

DUBLIN, Ohio—July 7, 2020—Hubbard County Department of Social Services (DSS) is investing in new technology to help staff telework during the COVID-19 pandemic and well into the future.

“With COVID, this solution plays a huge, vital role in how we do business now. I also look forward to staff working from home in the future. This solution will allow us to telework efficiently and perform as a public agency better than we were before," said Brian Ophus, social services director, Hubbard County DSS.

Hubbard County DSS will first provide a centralized document management system anyone in the agency can access. Staff will use Northwoods’ web-based software, Capture™, to electronically scan and index documents into the enterprise content management system, OnBase® by Hyland. Agency-wide access to case files will reduce duplicate work, such as workers in different program areas collecting the same information from clients.

The agency’s previous solution digitized a small percentage of documents, but they were not accessible outside of the office or to workers in other units, which impacted client service.

"We have to make things easier on the client and information more accessible because when they come to us, they are not in the best place in their life. My focus is getting a centralized document system to help make it easier for the client to move forward,” Ophus said.

The next phase will provide Northwoods’ software Traverse® to adult social services and child protection social workers to collect, view and share case content from anywhere at any time. Social workers will use Traverse’s web-based application to scan and upload documents and a companion mobile app to easily take photos and complete forms during home visits.

In addition to enabling remote work, the solution will have numerous benefits: 

  • Relieve stress on caseworkers and social workers managing high caseloads
  • Reduced burden on county IT staff to maintain the cloud-based solution
  • Enable adult social services and child protection social workers to spend more time with clients

"The biggest challenge was that everything was still on paper. What took an hour and a half to find a document will take 30-40 seconds. Traverse will allow social workers to be more efficient and spend more time with clients and take a lot of stress off the workers,” Ophus said.

Hubbard County DSS is funding the project by utilizing consolidated funding through state and federal grants available to help individuals under 200 percent of poverty.

“Whether in the office or teleworking, frontline workers need real-time access to information to best serve their clients. Northwoods’ solutions will help Hubbard County DSS workers access, collect and share key data and documents from anywhere,” said Chris McConnell, chief business development officer, Northwoods.

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.