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 Tuesday, August 21, 2018 by Jon Eakins

Debunking Common Child Support Myths and Misperceptions

“Providing for our children is one of humanity’s worthiest and most fundamental endeavors. Children are the best part of ourselves—the sum of our past and the promise of our future, the guarantee that our lives and values and dreams will flourish long after we are gone.”

- Former President Bill Clinton, in his original National Child Support Awareness Month proclamation from 1995

In honor of Child Support Awareness Month and everything child support programs do to help children, we’re debunking some commonly heard myths about the program.

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Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2018 by Rich Diers

Is Your Economic Assistance Program Using the Right Document Capture Tools?

Editor’s note: Modern technology can help make the information you capture more searchable, discoverable, and useable to help others. Read our new post, Not Your Average Electronic Document Management System, to learn more about what features to look for when you modernize.

Economic assistance caseworkers face constant deadlines to process applications and redeterminations.

However, outdated, inefficient document management tools and processes often get in the way, which can delay clients from receiving the benefits they need.

This could leave them feeling frustrated and vulnerable. Of course, that’s the opposite of what caseworkers are aiming to do.

The good news? The right technology can help alleviate these problems, allowing caseworkers to serve their clients quickly and professionally and start them on the path to stability and well-being.

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Posted Friday, May 25, 2018 by Rich Bowlen

From Foster Care to Forever Family

Editor's note: Earlier this week, we shared 10 Inspiring Foster Care Success Stories in honor of National Foster Care Month. Today, we have one more story from Rich Bowlen, Northwoods' vice president of protective services.

Rich previously spent 25 years in child and adult protective services working tirelessly to do the most good for the most vulnerable kids, families, and adults. Today, he continues to advocate for social workers who commit themselves to making a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

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Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2018 by Rupam Chokshi

5 Ways a System of Engagement Benefits Child Welfare

Modernizing to the new Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (CCWIS) creates a major opportunity for child welfare organizations to apply innovative solutions to overcome systematic barriers.

However, too many states and agencies may still view CCWIS as the next Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) with little change.

Where SACWIS was more of a “one-size-fits-all” model, CCWIS allows agencies to tailor their IT needs to align with their unique program requirements.

This opens the door for child welfare organizations to consider next-generation technology, like a system of engagement, that revolutionizes how social workers deliver services and interact with clients.

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Posted Monday, May 7, 2018 by Rich Bowlen

Traverse: Transforming the Way Child Welfare and Adult & Aging Agencies Work with Families to Improve Outcomes

"I'm big on efficiencies and using technology. If you're not using the latest and greatest software, you're behind." – Justin Zmyewski, Houston County (Minnesota) Commissioner

For Northwoods, the “latest and greatest software” means something that’s designed to work the way child welfare and adult & aging agencies work.

That’s why we created Traverse®—a content collection and case discovery solution to empower child welfare and adult & aging caseworkers with the right information at the right time to make informed, confident decisions.

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Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2018 by Team Northwoods

Celebrating Social Work Month

Social workers are superheroes. Here at Northwoods, we wholeheartedly believe that. In honor of Social Work Month, we want to take a minute to say thank you to all of the brave and amazing social workers and caseworkers who inspire change, no matter how small, every day.

Since this year's theme is "Social Workers: Leaders. Advocates. Champions," we're sharing some of the best things we've heard about what motivates social workers to help vulnerable kids and families overcome some of life's toughest challenges. 

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Posted Thursday, March 15, 2018 by Rich Bowlen

How Does the Opioid Epidemic Impact Child Welfare Caseworkers?

Kristi Burre has spent almost 20 years working in public service and child protection, but she’s never seen a greater need to support her caseworkers than she does today.

As Deputy Director of Fairfield County Child and Adult Protective Services in Ohio, Kristi has a front row seat to watch how the opioid epidemic wreaks havoc both inside and outside the agency’s walls.

As a result, she says, “The needs of our families, the needs of our children, and the needs of our system are more critical than they’ve ever been before.”

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Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2018 by Team Northwoods

Building Software to Solve Social Problems (Q&A with Northwoods Chief Technology Officer Don Abney)

Don Abney, Northwoods’ Chief Technology Officer, has spent the last 20 years developing and delivering technology services across several industries. He’s also one of the smartest humans you’ll ever meet.

Don recently sat down with our Business Development team to answer some questions about how Product Delivery (PD) at Northwoods continues to evolve and innovate to meet customers' needs.

His answers were just too good not to share!

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Posted Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Team Northwoods

Top 7 Northwoods Blog Posts of 2017

It's that time again! As each year comes to a close, we like to recap the top blog posts from the last 365 days. If you're a new reader or subscriber, this is your chance to catch up on all the good stuff you might have missed.

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Posted Monday, December 4, 2017 by Team Northwoods

Celebrating 10 Years of Community Contributions

“Jessica and I were finishing up some Christmas shopping and this guy pulled out a credit card and paid for our purchase. His name is Jeff and his company Northwoods lets them do these random acts of kindness. They just became our Christmas miracle.”

This is the story of one family the Northwoods Foundation helped this past Christmas as part of its “Layaway Payoff”—an annual program meant to spread Christmas cheer to local families.

However, the “random” act of kindness shared in this story really wasn’t so random at all. It’s one of many ways the Northwoods Foundation provides a platform for Northwoods employees to give back and help fulfill a big mission: work together to leave a lasting and meaningful impact on the world. It exemplifies what the Northwoods Foundation is all about—helping people and communities in need.

This year marks the Foundation’s 10th anniversary, and we’re celebrating with a look back at some notable contributions and stories from the last 10 years.

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