Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2019 by Team Northwoods

An Essential Reading List for Human Services Agency Leaders

No matter how many different priorities human services agency leaders juggle, one thing always remains the same: wanting to deliver the best possible experience and outcomes for the families that rely on your agency’s services.

That means carving out time to research what trends, tools, and emerging technologies can have the most significant impact on the industry, as well as what can be learned from other agencies, programs, or states.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite government, human services, and technology websites to help you get ahead of the curve. You can also follow all the sites mentioned below (and more!) with our Twitter list.


The Chronicle of Social Change

The Chronicle of Social Change reports on child welfare, juvenile justice, youth services, and other systems affecting children and families nationwide. They've recently been posting in-depth analyses of critical policies and issues like the Families First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), Family Justice Initiative, and Raise the Age. (Note: a subscription is required to access certain articles and additional resources.) You can also sign up for their newsletters

Get started with: "Joining the Child Welfare Case Management Revolution" (4-part CCWIS series)


Forbes Technology Council

While not specific to human services or government, Forbes Technology Council's blog shares forward-thinking and thought-provoking insights from the Council's membership—including leading CIOs, CTOs, and technology executives. Regardless of industry, it should be a must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of business and technology.

Get started with: "Overcoming the Challenges of a Digital Transformation" or "12 Key Factors for Deciding if New Tech is Right for Your Organization"



Governing's "Health & Human Services" section is a fantastic resource to follow what's happening at the federal level and how it trickles down to state and county agencies. We also recommend signing up for Governing's newsletters to get articles delivered straight to your inbox. In addition to their monthly human services roundup, "Governing Insider," "Better, Faster, Cheaper" and "Management & Workforce" are a few of our favorites.

Get started with: "The Federal Government is Overhauling Foster Care. States Aren't Ready."


Government Business Council

Government Business Council (GBC) is also known as the "Insights" section of Government Executive, one of the leading publications covering the business of the federal government's departments and agencies. GBC focuses on research, analysis, and best practices to inform government leaders' most important decisions.

Get started with: "Survey: Government of the Future" or "Meeting the Modern Digital Demand: Leveraging Workforce Collaboration Tools to Understand and Serve Citizens"


Government Technology

Government Technology covers a little bit of everythingfrom funding and procurement, to data and analytics, to the general implications of technology on government. Although the site doesn’t have a section specific to human services, it’s interesting to read about how other areas, like transportation, education and healthcare, are leveraging digital technology and what we can learn from their programs.

Get started with: "California IT Leaders Share Strategies, Lessons Learned"



GovLoop's blogs, resources, and market trend reports are great for government leaders interested in fostering collaboration and working together to solve problems. GovLoop often shares in-depth articles and research about the intersection of management and technology and has a "Daily Awesome" newsletter with trainings and articles to help you do your job better.

Get started with: "Creating a Personalized, Digital Experience in Government" or "Making IT Modernization a Reality for Agencies"



While the rest of the blogs on this list show what happens at the intersection of social services and technology, INorupt provides tips and highlights tools to help your agency get there. (Editor's note: the INorupt blog has taken a back seat since this post was originally published, but the "Technologies" section of the site is still active and founder McKenzie Smith continues to share relevant resources on Twitter and LinkedIn.)

Get started with: "5 Returns on Investment in Social Services Technology"


Route Fifty

Route Fifty covers a variety of topics about HHS technology and innovation at the state and local level, plus other relevant topics like budgeting, best practices, smart ideas, open government, and public services. (Note: Route Fifty is published by the same group as GBC and Government Executive.)

Get started with: "8 Things Governments Can Do to Use Disruptive Technology Better" or "Elder Abuse is the 'Silent Epidemic of Our Time'"



StateScoop's website and newsletter are aimed at bringing together IT and industry leaders to exchange best practices and identify ways to improve state and local government. All the reporting is excellent, but we especially like their "County & Local" and "Special Reports" sections. (If you're interested, Scoop Media Group also publishes FedScoopCyberScoop, and additional resources that are also helpful for government/IT leaders.)

Get started with: "Government CIOs Focusing More on Analytics—Those Who Aren't Will 'Fall Behind'"




StateTech's website, magazinee-newsletters, and additional resources explore technology issues that state and local government IT leaders and workers face when they’re evaluating and implementing a solution. 

Get started with: "InnovateOhio Looks to Modernize Public Services"


Trending Transformations (APHSA)

APHSA's blog and resources highlight innovative ideas, strategies, and approaches—like systems of care, the Human Services Value Curve, and social determinants of health—that agencies can implement to improve outcomes.

Get started with: "Outcomes-Based Financing: A Model for Next-Generation Public-Private Partnerships"

What other blogs and websites are you reading? Let us know and we’ll continue to expand the list. 

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