Posted Monday, November 24, 2014 by Rich Bowlen

Mobile App Helps Dane County Cut Social Work Staff Turnover in Half

Editor’s note: This testimonial references a product that will be sunset in 2022. Learn more about our next-generation child welfare technology or view more recent case studies.

In February 2012, Dane County Department of Human Services (DHS) was unexpectedly thrust into the national spotlight when reports of a local 15-year-old girl who was starved and kept in a basement for five years hit the national media. That case sparked the “Dane Wave,” where Dane County’s child abuse and neglect reports jumped by 25% over two years as a result of increased community awareness and a legislative expansion of mandated reporters across the state.

The stress took a toll on social workers. Dane County DHS was facing a 30% turnover rate in the initial assessment unit.

To tell the story of how Dane County DHS is overcoming these challenges, Northwoods is pleased to present this case study about how mobile social workers in child protective services are saving time on documentation to focus their attention on what really matters: protecting children and strengthening families.


Sue DeBuhr, Initial Assessment Social Worker,
works with her client to complete a
form immediately in the field.

Roberto Yánez, Social Services Specialist,
documents a supervised visit using Compass® CoPilot.

Northwoods’ social services software has helped Dane County DHS achieve these initial results:

  • 2-3 hours per day, per social worker saved
  • 50% reduction in staff turnover
  • 84% reduction in case backlog
  • More accurate and timely case notes
  • More time to interact with families