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 Monday, September 26, 2022 by Team Northwoods

What Would You Ask if Your Child Welfare Case File Could Talk?

Behavioral assessments. Psychological reports. Safety plans. Court documents.
Medical histories. Risk factors. Protective factors. Traumatic triggers.
Previous interventions. Transitions and placements. Drug involvement.

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Posted Thursday, July 7, 2022 by Laura Haffield

What’s Working to Solve the Staffing Crisis in Human Services?

Since the pandemic and so called “Great Resignation,” the staffing crisis has hit helping professions hard. These days it seems everyone is talking about it ... and for good reason. Long term care facilities, treatment centers, day cares and schools, and human services agencies—very few have not felt the effects of unprecedented levels of turnover and vacant positions.

In fact, Aysha E. Schomburg, associate commissioner for the Children’s Bureau, acknowledged the scope of the problem on the Child Welfare Information Gateway podcast, saying “I’m hearing about the mass resignations that are happening in our field, and our field is frankly in crisis.”

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Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2022 by Team Northwoods

Meet Traverse Connect: Our Portal to Engage Clients and Collaborators

Human services caseworkers are constantly exchanging information with people outside the agency, yet historically have lacked the right tools to support the process. We built our secure portal, Traverse® Connect, to solve agencies’ collaboration and client engagement problems—and here’s why.

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Posted Tuesday, May 24, 2022 by Team Northwoods

How CCWIS Federal Requirements Should Spark Systemic Change

Since 2016, the Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (CCWIS) final rule continues to change the way child welfare and human services leaders think about technology and innovation.

Beyond shifting the focus from monolithic to modular systems, it has sparked an industry-wide shift in thinking about how case data and information can and should be stored and shared for the good of the client. Further, it has empowered us to embrace flexibility and human-centered design, bring emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to the forefront, and raise the bar to deliver the highest quality of services to the most vulnerable.

These advances have been around in other industries for a while. To see them now making an impact in child welfare is exciting, especially when there hasn’t been an investment this big since Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) regulations were first created in the early 90s!

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Posted Tuesday, March 8, 2022 by Team Northwoods

Why Do Social Workers Burn Out?

Social worker burnout and turnover have always been a significant problem in human and social services. Turnover in child welfare has ranged from 20-40% annually for the last two decades. But today the stakes are higher than ever. Frontline workers are mentally, emotionally, and physically drained.

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Posted Monday, February 21, 2022 by Team Northwoods

Hybrid is Here to Stay: How to Support Remote Teams in Human Services

Editor’s note: We originally published this post in March 2020—just days after the start of the pandemic as many caseworkers and agency leaders were still navigating the transition to remote work. Nearly two years later, we’ve learned that remote and hybrid work models are now here to stay.

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, the task of fundamentally shifting work models is still a challenge. The same tips are still applicable, but the impact has changed, especially now that the social services workforce is in crisis.

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Posted Thursday, January 27, 2022 by Team Northwoods

How Child Welfare Customers Say Traverse Helps Them Focus on Families

“If we can use our resources to prop the family up and mitigate risks to keep the children in the home, that's an agency win for us at all levels—financial, resource support, workload management. That's what we strive to do as an entire child welfare division.”

Hannah Webster, child welfare manager at Mesa County Department of Human Services, is one of many customers we’ve spoken to over the years to learn why their agency has invested in our document management, forms management, and mobility software, Traverse®, in child welfare.

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Posted Tuesday, December 14, 2021 by Team Northwoods

Readers' Choice Recap: Top Blog Posts of 2021

As another year comes to a close, it's time to recap our top blogs of 2021.

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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Posted Friday, July 30, 2021 by Rich Bowlen

Connect the Dots: How Traverse Supports Kinship, Trauma-Informed Care

Child welfare caseworkers need to know how technology supports their practice, priorities, and daily work. Otherwise, it’s just another obstacle standing in the way of their mission to help kids and families.

Our new Human Services Huddle video series is designed to help you connect the dots through feature previews and use cases that show exactly how our tools help caseworkers help others.

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Posted Tuesday, June 8, 2021 by Rupam Chokshi

Answering Your Commonly Asked Cloud Questions for Human Services

I recently read a Forbes article about government and the future of cloud. This line caught my attention:

“For many, cloud adoption is no longer an ‘if,’ it's a ‘when.’ The benefits of the public cloud are becoming too great to ignore.”

While I agree with this statement, I’m not so sure human services is as far along as other government programs. Human services is recognized as a top candidate for cloud migration, but there are still plenty of counties and states still in the process of wrapping their heads around what—if any—cloud-based technologies are right for their needs.

I know many of you still have questions and concerns about the cloud, so this post will help address them.

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