Another year is coming to a close and that means it's time to recap our top blogs of 2022. Whether you're new here (welcome!) or a regular reader (welcome back!), we hope you'll find something new and insightful in this year's list.
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Human services caseworkers are constantly exchanging information with people outside the agency, yet historically have lacked the right tools to support the process. That's why we built Traverse® Connect to solve agencies’ collaboration and client engagement problems.
Traverse Connect is a secure portal built for clients, providers, and anyone outside of the agency that has a stake in the case. It simplifies collaboration and significantly reduces the time it takes to exchange information. This tool is the next step in our ongoing effort to remove barriers and inefficiencies so that caseworkers can focus on planning and providing the right care for the people they serve.
Traverse®—our cloud-based document management, forms management, mobility, and case discovery software—digitizes entire case files and mobilizes content to enable social work from anywhere. It surfaces critical information to help child welfare teams feel more supported and 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 in child welfare to do high-value work with families. This post provides a sampling of those testimonials.
We originally published this post in March 2020—just days after the start of the pandemic as many caseworkers and human services agency leaders were still navigating the transition to remote work. Two and a half years later, these flexible work models are now here to stay for many organizations.
Social services agencies have found benefits in hybrid and remote options for their workforce and clients alike and have begun to implement permanent flexible work polices to stay competitive to applicants. Despite the benefits, fundamentally shifting work models is still a challenge. This post offers tips to create an environment that truly supports and empowers workers to stay connected and focus on the mission, no matter where work gets done.
Demanding work. High stress. Low pay. Administrative burden. These factors have affected social workers for a long time now. On top of all that, social workers have had no reprieve and minimal recognition over the past few years navigating the pandemic—they’ve just kept working at the same pace, but under even more challenging circumstances.
This post explores the critical factors contributing to social work burnout and creating a perfect storm that could crumble an already taxed system if not addressed quickly. It also offers specific examples of how technology that’s purpose-built for human services plays a key role in reducing stress and burnout by helping workers and supervisors stay connected, share work, access case information and forms, and keep confidential information secure.
Along with burnout comes unprecedented levels of turnover, meaning many human services agencies are feeling the effects of the "Great Resignation” and resulting workforce shortages. Agencies facing this crisis must act quickly and boldly, employing strategies that are new and innovative, while remembering there is no one approach that will both stem the tide of turnover and simultaneously get more quality candidates in the door.
The good news? There are a ton of examples of thoughtful and innovative leaders across the country who are putting a great deal of energy and optimism into tackling this issue. This blog post is loaded with those strategies and best practices. We’re all in this together—and the most important thing to remember as you look at this daunting situation is that you are not alone.
Since research shows organizational culture is a significant factor for both retention and turnover, failing to prioritize worker well-being on an organizational level can be detrimental to your agency and ultimately the clients you serve. Creating a workplace culture grounded in psychological safety is crucial for organizations taking on this task.
How can your agency foster psychological safety, you ask? Moving worker well-being from solely an individual responsibility to an agency-wide responsibility is crucial to many common goals of better worker retention, better client engagement, and better outcomes for children and families. We spoke with Dr. Tiffany Lindsey, an assistant professor and Safe Systems Practitioner at the University of Kentucky, about the importance of safety culture and ways to promote worker well-being at your agency.
Still want more content? Check out these chart toppers that our readers continue to view every year:
- What is the Most Challenging Thing About Social Work?
- 10 Inspiring Foster Care Success Stories
- Dear Social Workers, Thank You for Showing Up.
- What Stereotype About Social Work Would You Clear Up?