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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Economic Assistance Technology Roadmap: Are You Heading in the Right Direction?(7) Economic Assistance Technology Roadmap: Are You Heading in the Right Direction?

An influx of applications and renewals are likely coming your way whenever COVID-19 waivers expire. Is your agency prepared to handle this surge?

Now is the time to evaluate your current technology and processes to make sure you have a solid roadmap in place to avoid further service disruption for clients.

You'll also learn how human services agencies can digitize case files, engage clients in the way they are most comfortable, and automate routine tasks so economic assistance caseworkers can focus on high-value work.

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Child Welfare Agencies Can't Live Without Traverse. Here's Why.(6) Child Welfare Agencies Can't Live Without Traverse. Here's Why.

Traverse® digitizes entire case files and mobilizes content to enable child welfare social work from anywhere. It surfaces critical information to help child welfare teams manage the complexity of today’s cases. As a result, agencies can better meet performance measures and permanency goals.

But don’t just take our word for it. Over the past couple of years, we’ve talked to frontline workers, supervisors, and directors across the country about how their agencies use Traverse to do high-value work with families. This post shares a sampling of comments we've heard about how Traverse benefits caseworkers and agencies alike.


Brunswick County enables social work from anywhere with Traverse(5) Brunswick County Enables Social Work from Anywhere with Traverse

Brunswick County DSS Social Work Program Administrator Rich Ohmer spoke to us about the agency's decision to invest in Traverse.

He shared several benefits and "quick wins" that demonstrate how the software has brought immediate support, assistance, and relief to overburdened frontline workers so they can focus on families, even when in-person contact is limited.

“Being able to access the system remotely and consistently has helped a lot,” Ohmer said. “They can work from home or work from anywhere pretty easily.”


Reimagining Economic Assistance Service Delivery with Greg Tipping(4) Reimagining Service Delivery in a Remote World (Q&A with Economic Assistance Evangelist Greg Tipping)

Economic Assistance Evangelist Greg Tipping explored how COVID-19 placed immediate and direct burden on human services workers tasked with handling an unprecedented uptick in applications for benefits.  

He shared insight on how agencies adapted to remote work, how the pandemic forced leaders to reimagine the economic assistance service delivery system, and the role modern technology plays in supporting caseworkers who have been stretched beyond capacity as a result of the pandemic and the economic uncertainty it created.


Navigating the New Normal in Child Welfare with Rich Bowlen(3) Navigating the New Normal (Q&A with Child Welfare Evangelist Rich Bowlen)

Child Welfare Evangelist Rich Bowlen explored how COVID-19 immediately impacted child welfare and how agencies have found creative ways to continue supporting kids and families amid such difficult circumstances.

He also looked ahead to what these changes mean for child welfare in the future and how to weather the long-term aftereffects of the storm. Lastly, he offered words of encouragement to social workers serving on the frontlines and thanked them for their unwavering dedication to providing hope for those who fear everyone has given up on them.


Prioritizing Technology in Human Services Amid COVID-19(2) Prioritizing Technology in Human Services and Preparing for What May Be Next [Lessons from COVID-19]

COVID-19 initially forced human services agencies to rethink how and where mission-critical work could be done, as well as which tools and technology were truly essential to support this new way of operating.

Now, the focus has shifted toward allocating shrinking budgets and limited resources to sustain these changes and navigate the new landscape for the long term. Our call to action is that agency leaders invest in technology to strengthen your efforts to prioritize safety while minimizing risk today, plus position your agency to weather any future crisis that comes your way.


Managing Remote Teams in Human Services(1) Managing Remote Teams in Human Services

We know a lot of agencies are still grappling with the idea that what's happening today will continue impacting the workforce for years to come.

With so much work still having to be done remotely or away from your team, we put together some tips for managing remote teams in human services. Some of these can be put into place immediately, while others will help you create a more long-term program to manage teams from outside of the office.

Times may remain uncertain, but one thing we know is that the human service workforce will always evolve to meet the needs of those who rely on our services.


Bonus reads!

Still want more content? Check out these chart toppers that our readers continue to view every year:

  1. What is the Most Challenging Thing About Social Work?
  2. 10 Inspiring Foster Care Success Stories
  3. Apps for the Mobile Social Worker
  4. 10 Tips on Self-Care for Social Workers
  5. Celebrating Social Work: A Roundup of Resources You Need to Succeed

As always, thanks for reading along with us in 2020. Have trends, topics, or challenges you're interested in learning more about in 2021? Reach out and share!


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