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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 Monday, April 27, 2020 by Rich Bowlen

Software to Support Remote Work: 5 Ways Traverse Helps Child Welfare

Technology can never replace human interaction in child welfare. And it shouldn’t. Connecting with children and families is fundamental to improving outcomes and well-being.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has caused many child welfare agencies to quickly pivot to support a remote workforce, and enable people to connect and share important information in new and different ways. Some child welfare experts predict connecting remotely will become part of the new normal for child welfare through things like video chats, collaboration apps, or instant messaging tools.

Traverse, Northwoods’ child welfare software, is empowering remote work across the country today, while supporting caseworkers’ efforts to provide critical service delivery, in a variety of ways. We put five best practices from agencies using Traverse into a 25-minute webinar. If you’re strapped for time, keep reading below.

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Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2020 by Team Northwoods

Reimagining Service Delivery in a Remote World (Q&A)

The COVID-19 pandemic is placing immediate and direct burden on economic assistance agencies tasked with handling an unprecedented uptick in applications for benefits.

We asked economic assistance evangelist, Greg Tipping, to share his insight on how agencies are adapting to remote work, how the pandemic is forcing leaders to reimagine the system, and the role modern technology will play in helping caseworkers manage the mountain of work headed their way.

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Posted Friday, April 3, 2020 by Lauren Hirka

Traverse Quick Tips for Remote Workers

To our Traverse® customers,

As essential services personnel, having the right tools in your toolbox is important as you need to access information quickly, wherever you might be.

To support you in your continuing efforts to keep children, families, and yourselves safe during this time, here are seven tips for making the most of Traverse.

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Posted Tuesday, March 24, 2020 by Rich Bowlen

Managing Remote Teams in Human Services

Human services agencies are always adapting to meet the needs of the children, families, and a seemingly constant change in the landscape.

For many of us, from leadership to frontline workers, this has meant adjusting to the reality that as much work as possible must be done outside the agency’s walls to preserve the health and safety of our vulnerable communities.

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Posted Thursday, March 12, 2020 by Rupam Chokshi

Putting the 'Human' Back in Human Services Through Robotic Process Automation

Human services agencies are constantly fighting to make time for meaningful, high-value work with clients, while maintaining compliance and maximizing efficiency.

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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, January 8, 2020 by Rupam Chokshi

Hey Alexa, How Will Human Services Technology Change in the Next 10 Years?

For many, the new year signals a fresh start. A clean slate. The opportunity to think or act differently. What if we applied this same mindset to human services technology?

What if we stopped feeling restricted by outdated systems, processes, and policies, and focused instead on what we can do today that we couldn’t do in the past?

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Posted Tuesday, December 17, 2019 by Team Northwoods

Readers' Choice Recap: Top Blog Posts of 2019

As another year comes to a close, it's time to recap our top blogs of 2019. Without further adieu, here's a countdown of this year's posts that our readers found most helpful.

(Remember, you can subscribe any time to make sure you never miss out!)

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Posted Friday, November 15, 2019 by Rupam Chokshi

Machine-Assisted Social Work and the Future of Child Welfare Technology

When I think about the future of social work, I see immense possibilities, broad impact, and extensive societal change.

Technology has potential to empower the child welfare practice in ways we’ve never considered before. The tools exist and are being used in other industries; now we need to think about how to apply them at the right time and in the right context to connect and inform the people delivering services.

This begs the question: how do we make this era of machine-assisted social work a reality?

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Posted Thursday, October 31, 2019 by Lauren Hirka

Don't Get Spooked by Artificial Intelligence for Child Welfare

Can artificial intelligence (AI) really help my caseworkers? Or is it all just a bunch of hocus pocus?

This is one of the most common questions we hear when introducing child welfare agencies to the concept of case discovery, which leverages AI. (Okay, maybe not the hocus pocus part … but come on, it’s Halloween!)

We interact with AI almost daily—think Siri, Alexa, or even your Roomba. It continues to gain traction in government and is seen as the emerging technology with the most potential by state chief information officers. Yet, the concept still seems scary in the context of child welfare.

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