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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 Friday, September 17, 2021 by Rich Bowlen

Finding the Way Forward: What's Next for Human Services?

How do you plan for the “new normal” when normalcy no longer exists?

Yes, it’s a bold question and a tough concept to consider. But it’s reality. As I have continued to meet with numerous directors of local and state agencies throughout the country, there is still a lot of uncertainty and confusion.

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Posted Monday, August 23, 2021 by Jason Wintersteller

Build vs. Buy: Why COTS is the Smarter Choice for Human Services

Many human services agencies falsely believe their technology needs are so unique to justify building their own custom solution. In the long run, however, this could be a very costly mistake. A commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) product that can be configured to meet your needs and evolve over time can almost always do the job—with a considerably smaller strain on resources and faster time to value.

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Posted Thursday, August 12, 2021 by Rupam Chokshi

Engagement vs. Efficiency: Which Matters More for Economic Assistance?

Economic assistance program leaders are typically motivated to modernize their technology for one of two reasons—improving client engagement or increasing caseworker efficiency. Both are important, but which one has a larger impact across the agency?

I’ll give you a hint … that’s a trick question! If you evaluate technology through just one of these lenses, you may inadvertently hinder your agency from realizing its full potential.

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Posted Friday, July 30, 2021 by Rich Bowlen

Connecting the Dots: How Traverse Supports Kinship and Trauma-Informed Care

Child welfare caseworkers need to know how technology supports their practice, priorities, and daily work. Otherwise, it’s just another obstacle standing in the way of their mission to help kids and families.

Our new Human Services Huddle video series is designed to help you connect the dots through feature previews and use cases that show exactly how our tools help caseworkers help others.

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Posted Wednesday, July 7, 2021 by Don Abney

To Code or Not to Code: What Platform is Best for Building Human Services Software?

Years ago, when I was leading technical teams at Nationwide Insurance, they launched the marketing slogan "Life comes at you fast." Some of the developers in the company quickly adopted the phrase for our own purposes. It rang true as we navigated the never-ending parade of new technology and new ways to design software.

It was, and still is, confusing to know what tools and methods to adopt. And we are the software people! If it’s confusing to us, it’s likely a dark art to the rest of the world. Some of the latest tools on the scene that we know people are still wrapping their heads around are low-code/no-code software development platforms. We thought it might be useful to share our thoughts on how they might benefit our readers.

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Posted Tuesday, June 8, 2021 by Rupam Chokshi

Answering Your Commonly Asked Cloud Questions for Human Services

I recently read a Forbes article about government and the future of cloud. This line caught my attention:

“For many, cloud adoption is no longer an ‘if,’ it's a ‘when.’ The benefits of the public cloud are becoming too great to ignore.”

While I agree with this statement, I’m not so sure human services is as far along as other government programs. Human services is recognized as a top candidate for cloud migration, but there are still plenty of counties and states still in the process of wrapping their heads around what—if any—cloud-based technologies are right for their needs.

I know many of you still have questions and concerns about the cloud, so this post will help address them.

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Posted Thursday, May 27, 2021 by Rupam Chokshi

Not Your Average Electronic Document Management System

When you think about the term “electronic document management” in human services, what comes to mind? Converting paper-based case files to digital ones that you simply scan and store in an electronic filing cabinet? Maybe some basic workflows built in to help automate processes?

I’ve worked in document management for almost two decades now. Technology has changed drastically. Most electronic document management systems (EDMS) available to human services agencies have evolved, yet they still haven’t quite kept pace with agencies’ needs.

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Posted Thursday, May 6, 2021 by Rupam Chokshi

Can County Human Services Agencies Use Funds from the American Rescue Plan for Technology?

The answer is: no, the U.S. Treasury’s Quick Reference Guide does not list technology modernization as an allowable use of funds. But, neither does it list technology modernization as an ineligible use of funds. Since recipients have broad flexibility to determine how to best use this funding to meet the needs of their communities, it may help free up other resources for technology instead. Here’s how.

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Posted Thursday, April 8, 2021 by Lauren Hirka

5 Must-Haves for Mobile Technology in Child Welfare

Child welfare agencies have had to pivot multiple times over the past year to support and sustain a remote workforce, while enabling people to connect and share important information in new and different ways.

Now that working from anywhere has become the norm, agencies must have the right technology in place to mobilize case and client information so that workers can both make sense of it and use it to help others.

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Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2021 by Michael Drabek

Think You're Ready to Buy Human Services Technology? Think Again.

“It’s easy to make things hard. It’s hard to make things easy.”

This adage rings true for human services in many ways, especially when it comes to purchasing and implementing technology. The process can be complicated for anyone, but if your agency overlooks certain key steps or considerations along the way, it becomes that much harder.

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