Blog

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 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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Posted Tuesday, March 16, 2021 by Team Northwoods

Celebrating Social Workers: A Roundup of Resources You Need to Succeed

Social Work Month is one of our favorite months of the year. We love shouting from the rooftops about the superhero work you do to support and empower vulnerable kids, adults, and families. You are a shining light, a beacon of hope for those who need it, and we thank you for all that you do.

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Posted Tuesday, February 9, 2021 by Rupam Chokshi

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
technology is sweet,
but is it really helping you?

You know that technology has the potential to modernize service delivery and drastically alter how you interact with clients. Too often though, human services agencies commit to technology that doesn’t end up delivering on the value it promises. 

Just as two solutions are never quite the same, neither are two vendors that provide them. Even if companies (or their tools) look similar on paper, dig a little deeper and you’ll find subtle nuances in how each one approaches their business. It’s these nuances that will have a significant impact on your project’s success.

Below is a list of questions that can help you separate a strategic partner who truly wants to help your organization grow over time from a run-of-the-mill vendor that’ll move on as soon as your transaction is complete.

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Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2020 by Team Northwoods

Readers' Choice Recap: Top Blog Posts of 2020

As another year comes to a close (thank goodness!), it's time to recap our top blogs of 2020.

Below is a countdown of this year's posts that our readers found most insightful. Remember, you can subscribe any time to make sure you never miss out on future content.

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Posted Monday, December 14, 2020 by Team Northwoods

Mitigate Risk, Maximize Results with New Human Services Technology

Technology for health and human services has gone from a nice to have to a must have. Agencies want to modernize their technology to manage the ripple effects of COVID-19, but struggle to figure out how. Revenue hits. Budget cuts. Furloughs. All of these make it increasingly difficult for agencies to fund new projects.

The good news? Getting new tools in place is not only possible but can be done in a way that provides both quick results and footing for better outcomes in the future. It just takes a bit of strategic planning, creative thinking, and business savvy.

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Posted Wednesday, December 2, 2020 by Team Northwoods

Getting the Green Light: Justify Spending on Human Services Technology

Is your human services agency planning to purchase new technology in 2021? In today’s world, agency leaders struggle to justify the need for new technology amid budget crises while IT leaders have been forced to cut many planned expenses in order to focus on the few that directly support COVID-19-related initiatives and precautions.

A comprehensive and compelling business case that presents three critical components—hard return on investment (ROI), non-quantifiable benefits, and the social/community impact of your purchase—may be a determining factor in whether your request gets the green light.

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Posted Monday, November 9, 2020 by Rich Bowlen

Dear Social Workers, Thank You for Showing Up.

Social workers are some of the most resourceful, creative, and passionate people in the world. It’s just one of the reasons I’m so appreciative of your unwavering commitment to serve on the frontlines. 

No matter the circumstances, you’ve always risen to the occasion to prioritize your communities and, most importantly, keep kids, families, and communities safe—even more than usual in these past several months of uncertainty, isolation, and anxiety. Thank you for being a source of stability and strength for the families who rely on you.

All that said, I know it can be hard to stay positive and keep fighting given everything going on in the world right now. I want to share some stories and quotes about the amazing work that’s been done, as well as the support and encouragement that’s been provided, amid the pandemic in hopes that it helps boost your spirits on tough days. Read More
Posted Wednesday, November 4, 2020 by Rupam Chokshi

12 Resources to Reboot Your Human Services Technology in 2021

Human services leaders were put to the test in 2020. Now, it’s time to think about what’s next.

As you look ahead to 2021, you may be considering several different technology-related options: investing in new tools, optimizing existing ones, or taking a step back to rethink what you really need before making any big decisions. Wherever you are in this journey, we’re here to help.

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