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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, September 9, 2019 by Rupam Chokshi

Answering Your Commonly Asked Cloud Questions

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. There are plenty of counties, and even some 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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Posted Tuesday, August 6, 2019 by Greg Tipping

You Can't Automate Compassion

As a former job and family services worker in Ohio, it is safe to say I have a lot of stories. Unfortunately, as you can imagine, not all of them are good ones. It’s a hard job and you often do not get to see the result of your work. However, there is one story that has stuck with me through the years.

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Posted Thursday, June 6, 2019 by Allison Mitsui

Technology Regression Happens. Here’s How to Fix It.

It’s no secret that technology is a huge investment. If you’ve put significant time and resources toward integrating technology throughout your agency’s daily flow of activities, you expect to see ongoing, long-term results long after your initial purchase.

But what happens when you stop seeing those returns? The reality is, even the most successful technology implementations can get off track down the line—especially several years later.

People turn over. Processes change. Time passes. If the way you use technology doesn’t keep up with the way you work, the efficiencies and time savings you once gained may slowly trickle away.

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Posted Tuesday, December 11, 2018 by Team Northwoods

Top 5 Northwoods Blog Posts of 2018

This year's list is full of expert content, inspirational stories to remind you why you do what you do, and other resources to help you utilize social work technology.

Happy reading!

(By the way, want to get more great articles like these written just for human services delivered straight to your inbox next year? Subscribe here.)

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Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2018 by Rich Diers

Is Your Economic Assistance Program Using the Right Document Capture Tools?

Economic assistance caseworkers face constant deadlines to process applications and redeterminations.

However, outdated, inefficient document management tools and processes often get in the way, which can delay clients from receiving the benefits they need.

This could leave them feeling frustrated and vulnerable. Of course, that’s the opposite of what caseworkers are aiming to do.

The good news? The right technology can help alleviate these problems, allowing caseworkers to serve their clients quickly and professionally and start them on the path to stability and well-being.

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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 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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