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Posted Tuesday, November 13, 2018 by Team Northwoods

Seneca County Arming Caseworkers with New Technology to Manage Cases

Child welfare caseworkers spend more time on social work, less time on paperwork

DUBLIN, OH—November 14, 2018—Seneca County Division of Human Services Administration (DHSA) will arm 36 children and family services caseworkers with new technology to focus less time on paperwork and more time doing high-value work with children and families.

Caseworkers have been asking for technology to help manage the volume of content in case files so they can spend more time with children and families. They also need to focus on making referrals for additional services, completing family assessments and closing cases faster.

The ability to focus on high-value work will help reduce caseworkers’ stress. About 25 percent of child welfare caseworkers at Seneca County DHSA turn over each year.

“People feel disconnected from the family that they are working with. They feel they are just pushing paper rather than doing social work with the family to keep their children safe in their homes. I would rather families get what they need instead of caseworkers just checking boxes because we’re mandated to do certain types of paperwork,” said Tracy VanVleck, commissioner, Seneca County DHSA.

Caseworkers in child protective services, preventative services, foster care and adoption will use the product Traverse® to collect, view and share case content from anywhere at any time.

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, or virtually impossible to retrieve. Traverse extracts critical information about the major topics in cases, related events and people connected to the case to help caseworkers make informed, confident decisions about safety.

With paper case files, caseworkers needed to read an average 300 pages of notes to get up to speed on a case. Attorneys struggled to access key information to prepare for court hearings that determine whether a child is returned to a safe home or removed from an unsafe home.

“Nobody quickly reads through 300 pages of notes. Traverse will give us the whole picture of what's going on. It’s much easier than having to piece together a case just to make sure that we’re looking at health and safety for this family before making any decisions,” VanVleck said.

Northwoods’ only focus is helping state and county human services agencies increase client service levels and productivity while cutting costs—allowing them to be more effective and do more with less. Northwoods’ human services software solutions surface key information workers need to make confident decisions about safety. Northwoods’ solutions are designed around caseworkers and social workers, not simply data collection. Northwoods is headquartered in Dublin, Ohio. For more information, visit


Contact: Tiffany Himmelreich