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 Monday, August 29, 2016 by Team Northwoods

The Do’s and Don’ts of Human Services Technology Implementation [Resource Recap]

Over the past few months, we’ve discussed a handful of factors that can make or break your human services technology implementation. Maybe you’ve read and bookmarked every post, or maybe this is your first time even realizing that this blog exists (in that case, hello!).

Either way, we thought it would be helpful to recap all the handy tips and tricks we’ve shared in an infographic The Do’s and Don’ts of Human Services Technology Implementation.

Read More
Posted Friday, August 19, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Not Your Granddaddy’s Technology Implementation

Have you ever had to sit in a room for hours upon hours listening to someone explain how a new technology is going to work, and then by the time you get back to your computer and try to start using the tool, you completely forget what you were supposed to do? So. Incredibly. Frustrating.

Not only is it frustrating, but it’s inefficient too. In fact, research has shown that students only retain 20% of information they learn by sitting and listening passively in a lecture-style environment.

Read More
Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Debunking Common Child Welfare Social Work Myths and Misperceptions

Social workers do too much. Social workers don’t do enough. Social workers make decisions on a whim. Social workers tear families apart.

If someone doesn’t understand the intricacies of working with families involved in a child welfare case, or realize the roller coaster of emotions felt when making decisions that affect a child’s life, it’s easy to make assumptions and judgments about what social workers do.

Read More
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.

Read More
Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Understanding and Applying the Human Services Value Curve

Last month, a few Northwoodians attended APHSA’s National Health & Human Services Summit. We attended sessions focused on predictive analytics, preventative care, improving outcomes, and integrating services, all of which had one theme in common: transforming the industry through the Human Services Value Curve.

What is the Human Services Value Curve, you ask? Keep reading to learn more.

Read More
Posted Thursday, June 23, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

How to Assemble a "Justice League" of Tech Teams

Having the right people on a technology implementation team is make or break for project success. Too often in human services, the right people aren’t involved from the beginning and by the time the project hits end users, it’s dead in the water.

In our experience, assembling a clearly defined team is the first step toward increasing user adoption when it comes to technology. While the number of people involved may differ depending on the size of your agency and the scope of the project, the general makeup should be the same.

Read More
Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2016 by Team Northwoods

15 Inspirational iPad Wallpapers for Social Workers

Being a social worker can be challenging. After a difficult home visit or day in the field, inspiration can be especially hard to come by. So, why not carry a little bit of it with you?

We created these 15 inspirational iPad wallpapers to help keep social workers going, even when the going gets tough. Save your favorite (or all of them, if you'd like!) for the next time you need a motivational boost when you're out in the field, or to remind yourself of the amazing work you're doing.

Read More
Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Removing the Risk Factor from Organizational Process Change

Organizational process change is often the riskiest aspect of implementing new software for human services agencies. Yet in order for agencies to continuously improve, all stakeholders must be willing to embrace these changes – and the risk and fear that accompany them.

Read More
Posted Monday, May 30, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

5 Proven Ways to Make Technology Adoption Stick in Human Services

Have you ever rolled out a new technology solution, only for no one at your agency to use it? Frustrating? Of course. Fixable? Absolutely.

Technology is improving efficiencies in the workplace like never before. So why is it that so many human services agencies struggle with getting their teams to adopt these new tools? Why do some agencies implement a technology solution, only to watch it fail on the front lines?

We’ll let you in on a little secret: A little bit of planning, foresight, and a properly aligned approach can often make the difference between whether or not new technology flourishes or fails. 

Read More
Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2016 by Greg Tipping

Cabarrus County’s Modern Lobby Means Happy Clients

“Chaos.”

That’s how caseworkers and clients described the lobby at Cabarrus County Department of Social Services (DHS).

Read More