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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 Sunday, January 15, 2017 by Rich Bowlen

Dark Data is Hiding in Your Child Welfare Case Files

It is unrealistic for anyone in child welfare to remain constantly up to date on every case, especially when so much of the information is hiding in the dark. Yet, everyone expects the child welfare social worker to do just that.

Think about it: the average case file contains over a thousand documents, or approximately four to five thousand pages of informationand it's being added to every day by countless entities. On top of that, workers are managing an average 24-31 cases each.

How can a worker be expected to find the right information as quickly as necessary when they have to sift through so much information to find it?

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Posted Thursday, January 12, 2017 by Team Northwoods

7 Can't Miss Conferences for Human Services in 2017

Editor's note: While the conferences on this list are still excellent, there's a newer version of this blog post you may want to check out instead. View the most recent list here.

Two key themes arise whenever we talk to customers about how they stay up-to-date on the key issues and trends impacting their agency and community:

  1. Peer conversations and idea-sharing
  2. Industry research and best practices

One of the best ways to get a double dose of both? Carving out time to attend conferences and events that not only have really amazing programming/sessions, but also build in plenty of time for attendees to network and discuss how they’re addressing key opportunities and challenges.

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Posted Wednesday, December 14, 2016 by Team Northwoods

Top 6 Northwoods Blog Posts of 2016

Readers, rejoice!

It’s that time of year where we recap the can’t-miss blog posts of the last 365 days.

Whether you’re looking for customer success stories, technology adoption tips, or inspiration to keep on file for the days when you need to recharge, this list has got you covered.

So grab your reading glasses, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and catch up on the top 6 Northwoods blog posts of 2016. Happy reading!

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Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2016 by Jim Aten

7 Questions Your Agency Can Answer with Compass® Reports

Human services agencies today are stretched for time and resources in almost every capacity. To really maximize efficiency, you need data. You need to be able to manage your workers’ caseloads, see how the tools you provide them are being used, and understand what services your community utilizes most.

Good news: you can now get the data you need through Compass® Reports for Compass® Pilot and Compass® CoPilot.

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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, July 26, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

Debunking Common Child Welfare Social Work Myths and Misperceptions

Social workers do too much. Social workers don’t do enough. Social workers make decisions on a whim. Social workers tear families apart.

If someone doesn’t understand the intricacies of working with families involved in a child welfare case, or realize the roller coaster of emotions felt when making decisions that affect a child’s life, it’s easy to make assumptions and judgments about what social workers do.

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Posted Friday, March 25, 2016 by Tiffany Himmelreich

What is the Best Thing About Social Work?

As part of our Marketing duties, my teammate Mae Wells-Kress and I travel the country talking to caseworkers and social workers. In those travels, we’ve asked dozens of people the samefour questions about what it means to be in social work.

  1. Why did you go into social work?
  2. What is the most challenging thing about social work?
  3. What stereotype about social work would you clear up?
  4. What is the best thing about social work?
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Posted Friday, March 18, 2016 by Tiffany Himmelreich

What Stereotype About Social Work Would You Clear Up?

As part of our Marketing duties, my teammate Mae Wells-Kress and I travel the country talking to caseworkers and social workers. In those travels, we’ve asked dozens of people the same four questions about what it means to be in social work.

  1. Why did you go into social work?
  2. What is the most challenging thing about social work?
  3. What stereotype about social work would you clear up?
  4. What is the best thing about social work?
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Posted Friday, March 11, 2016 by Tiffany Himmelreich

What Is the Most Challenging Thing About Social Work?

As part of our Marketing duties, my teammate Mae Wells-Kress and I travel the country talking to caseworkers and social workers. In those travels, we’ve asked dozens of people the same four questions about what it means to be in social work.

  1. Why did you go into social work?
  2. What is the most challenging thing about social work?
  3. What stereotype about social work would you clear up?
  4. What is the best thing about social work?
Read More
Posted Friday, March 4, 2016 by Tiffany Himmelreich

Why Did You Go Into Social Work?

As part of our Marketing duties, my teammate Mae Wells-Kress and I travel the country talking to caseworkers and social workers. In those travels, we’ve asked dozens of people the same four questions about what it means to be in social work. 

  1. Why did you go into social work?
  2. What is the most challenging thing about social work?
  3. What stereotype about social work would you clear up?
  4. What is the best thing about social work?
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