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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 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 that empowers child welfare and adult & aging agencies to make informed, confident decisions about safety.

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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 Thursday, April 27, 2017 by Rich Bowlen

Traverse in Action: Complete Case History Helps Social Workers Achieve Permanence for Children

Angel, a Foster Care & Treatment Social Worker in North Carolina, and Andrea, a Caseworker & Kinship Assessor in Ohio, are working toward the same goal: find the best placement the first time for a child coming into each of their agency’s care.

But critical information about the child—relatives, behavioral issues, or medical history—is often hidden or virtually impossible to retrieve. Without a full picture of the child’s detailed past and present, it’s difficult for Angel and Andrea to find the right placement at the right time, and most importantly, the first time.

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Posted Thursday, April 13, 2017 by Greg Tipping

Get the Scoop on Cabarrus County DHS’ Lobby Modernization Success

You may have heard us talk before about the amazing results our friends at Cabarrus County Department of Human Services (DHS) have seen since redesigning their lobby, upgrading technology, and modernizing business processes. Now, we’re also sharing the nitty gritty details behind how Cabarrus County made the project—and its resulting success—happen.

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Posted Monday, February 6, 2017 by Chuck Barber

Here’s How Lenoir County Broke the Social Worker Burnout Cycle in Child Welfare

Keeping case initiation rates high and turnover low are two big priorities for Child Welfare program managers; however, without the right tools and processes in place, both are much easier said than done. Just ask Lenoir County Department of Social Services (DSS).

In 2006, the turnover rate for Lenoir County’s Child Welfare unit was 73% because documentation requirements and emotional stress were taking such a big toll on social workers. Inefficient processes affected case initiation rates too, which hovered below the 95% state standard at 80-85%.

Now, workers have access to office-based and field-based document management solutions designed for Child Welfare that give them more time to focus on engaging clients, building trust, and delivering quality service. As a result, turnover has decreased to 17% and social workers are consistently exceeding the state standard for case initiation with a 97% rate.

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Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2016 by Team Northwoods

Paperwork Problems No More for Lenoir County Adult and Family Services

Imagine for a second how much more you could accomplish each day if you were able to put the hour or two that you usually spent doing paperwork toward actually doing your job.

Oh, the possibilities!

For Lenoir County Department of Social Services’ (DSS) Adult and Family Services social workers, the ability to repurpose hours previously spent on documentation means more time to focus on engaging clients, building trust, and delivering more holistic, quality service. Even better? Their documentation is still up to date and accurate too.

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Posted Thursday, November 3, 2016 by Team Northwoods

The Secret Behind Lenoir County's Child Support Success

Type. Print. Cut. Paste. Print again. Repeat.
Type. Print. Cut. Paste. Print again. Repeat.

For child support caseworkers at Lenoir County Department of Social Services (DSS), creating court orders and motions was a tedious, paper-heavy, and time-consuming process.

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Posted Monday, October 31, 2016 by Greg Tipping

Bring Your Content and Document Management Back from the Dead

For many human services agencies, important documents and case information are long gone as soon as they’re filed in the system.

Think about it this way: most basic document and content management systems force workers to wait until the end of a case to scan and file their documents, which means they don’t have access to information when they really need itwhile working the case. It’s hard for supervisors to coach and advise workers when they don’t have instant access to information either.

By the time critical information becomes available in the system, the case is already closed.

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Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2016 by Greg Tipping

Cabarrus County’s Modern Lobby Means Happy Clients

“Chaos.”

That’s how caseworkers and clients described the lobby at Cabarrus County Department of Social Services (DHS).

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