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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.

Greg Tipping's Articles

Greg Tipping—Vice President of Northwoods’ Complex Solutions Group—helps agencies uncover and solve their most complicated, challenging, and unique business problems. Equipping agencies with custom solutions to deliver services better, Greg fulfills his mission to make a difference in the lives of folks that rely on support from agencies to get by day to day.
Posted Thursday, September 3, 2020 by Greg Tipping

Economic Assistance Technology Roadmap: Are You Heading in the Right Direction?

The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) recently released a special statement calling for administrative relief for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) agencies.

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Posted Thursday, June 18, 2020 by Greg Tipping

Streamline and Simplify How Child Support Caseworkers Do Their Job

“It's just so much paperwork. It's hard on me because you know that the families aren't getting the money they need for that month.” Tammy Baldwin, Child Support Agent II, Lenoir County (North Carolina) Department of Social Services

If you’re a child support caseworker, you may feel overwhelmed. Creating court orders and motions is a tedious, paper-heavy, and time-consuming process, not to mention obtaining complete information regarding non-custodial parents.

Additionally, most child support caseworkers lose valuable time every day to the antiquated documentation systems and manual processes they use to collect, retrieve, and share information. This makes it impossible to be truly efficient and provide complete client service, which can delay families from accessing resources and children from receiving the support they need for their well-being.

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Posted Wednesday, January 15, 2020 by Greg Tipping

Debunking Common Economic Assistance Myths and Misperceptions That Could Impact States’ Integrated Eligibility Efforts

With an election around the corner, economic assistance programs—especially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid—and integrated eligibility systems have come under major public scrutiny.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there that leads people to ask questions based on false assumptions. For example, aren’t most people who receive assistance inappropriately taking advantage of the system? Don’t these programs discourage work? Do people receiving benefits really need them?

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Posted Wednesday, August 28, 2019 by Greg Tipping

Total Integration of Human Services: Does Child Support Hold the Key?

“Child support is for the child. To do right by the child, sometimes you have to make sure the parents are okay.”

This quote was shared during a session on the future of human services program delivery at last week’s National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) Leadership Symposium. It resonates with me because it underscores how all areas of human services are connected. Sure, each program may have its own policies and processes, but at the end of the day they’re ultimately serving the same people, and we need to start treating them that way.

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Posted Tuesday, August 6, 2019 by Greg Tipping

You Can't Automate Compassion

As a former job and family services worker in Ohio, it is safe to say I have a lot of stories. Unfortunately, as you can imagine, not all of them are good ones. It’s a hard job and you often do not get to see the result of your work. However, there is one story that has stuck with me through the years.

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Posted Tuesday, August 1, 2017 by Greg Tipping

Pitfalls of Relying on Too Much Paper in Human Services

Going paperless is a priority for plenty of human services agencies, yet many organizations lack funding, resources, or proper justification to invest in technology and are forced to continue relying on time-consuming, labor-intensive, paper-based file systems and processes.

For those readers that fall into the latter, consider this: maintaining the status quo could actually be doing more harm than good—and costing more—to your agency in the long run.

Below are five risks to think about if your agency relies too much on paper documents and manual processes.

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Posted Thursday, April 13, 2017 by Greg Tipping

Get the Scoop on Cabarrus County DHS’ Lobby Modernization Success

You may have heard us talk before about the amazing results our friends at Cabarrus County Department of Human Services (DHS) have seen since redesigning their lobby, upgrading technology, and modernizing business processes. Now, we’re also sharing the nitty gritty details behind how Cabarrus County made the project—and its resulting success—happen.

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Posted Thursday, February 9, 2017 by Greg Tipping

Why Human Services Must Be a Lean Machine

Human beings make mistakes. Period. And even though we’re big believers that social workers and caseworkers are super heroes, we know they make mistakes sometimes too.

Ever lost or misplaced a document? Skipped a step when scanning it into the system? Filed it in the wrong place? Overlooked a key piece of information when reviewing a case file?

Mistakes happen. While it may not be likely to eliminate errors completely, there are many changes a human services agency can make to reduce the possibility of errors being made. It all starts with simplifying processesand in doing so, creating less opportunity for errors to occur.

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Posted Monday, October 31, 2016 by Greg Tipping

Bring Your Content and Document Management Back from the Dead

For many human services agencies, important documents and case information are long gone as soon as they’re filed in the system.

Think about it this way: most basic document and content management systems force workers to wait until the end of a case to scan and file their documents, which means they don’t have access to information when they really need itwhile working the case. It’s hard for supervisors to coach and advise workers when they don’t have instant access to information either.

By the time critical information becomes available in the system, the case is already closed.

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Posted Wednesday, July 20, 2016 by Greg Tipping

Time to Update Your Human Services Document Management System?

Now is the time for government agencies to modernize their approach to document management.

In fact, as we publish this blog post, four out of five agencies are either actively in the process of doing so or planning to in the future, according to research from the Center for Digital Government.

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