Government agencies are beginning to leverage an emerging technology, robotic process automation (RPA), to streamline tasks and reduce administrative burdens. GovLoop’s eBook dives into how RPA works and what makes it successful, plus provides six examples of RPA in action at the state level.Read More
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.
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?Read More
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What if we stopped feeling restricted by outdated systems, processes, and policies, and focused instead on what we can do today that we couldn’t do in the past?Read More
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?Read More
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.Read More
Editor's note: this post was originally published on August 15, 2017. We recently refreshed the list to give you twice the amount of helpful tips!
Human services agencies face several hurdles when it comes to investing in technology.
Yet, even when resources are limited, it’s not impossible to come up with the money to purchase and maintain innovative technology solutions. (Plus, the short-term cost won’t seem so bad once you realize the long-term value of your investment!)
All it takes is a little upfront planning and creative thinking.Read More
At Northwoods, we are focused on starting with why. I believe starting with why provides a constant reminder for the team of the collective goal we are all working toward, which is ultimately to improve outcomes for children and families by empowering the practice.
To do this, we need to meet the user where they are—both physically, and in terms of practice.
As one of APHSA’s 2019 Emerging Leaders, I was invited to present a poster at the annual ISM conference showcasing a solution that Northwoods has implemented.
I chose to present on this topic, Meeting Users Where They Are, because it influences every solution and service we offer.Read More
Imagine you’re a working parent balancing three minimum wage jobs to provide stability for your family but find yourself needing to apply for temporary assistance to get by.
You don’t have much time between shifts, so you drive to your local agency to start the application process over your 45-minute lunch break … only to get stuck in line as soon as you enter the lobby. You’re not sure where to go or what to do. Do you stay and risk getting back to work late? Do you come back tomorrow and hope you’ll get served faster?
To the vulnerable citizens who need your help, a line in your lobby may feel like an immediate disservice.Read More
We know many states and agencies still have lingering questions and concerns surrounding the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), so we’ve rounded up several recent articles and resources to help you assess your options, plan for the best way to move forward, and navigate the impending change.
Editor’s note: we originally published this post on June 11, 2019. Since FFPSA has now officially gone into effect (despite most states delaying implementation), we’re continuously updating it to include new resources.Read More