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 Thursday, September 15, 2022 by Team Northwoods

Advancing Economic Mobility and Well-Being Ahead of the Unwinding

In August, a few Northwoodians attended the American Public Human Services Association’s (APHSA) Economic Mobility and Well-Being Conference. From sessions on emerging from the pandemic, adapting policies and processes, and developing the workforce, a few themes emerged about where the industry is heading as “the unwinding” draws closer. Keep reading for some additional insight on each theme:

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Posted Friday, July 29, 2022 by Team Northwoods

When Eligibility Waivers Expire: 5 Steps to Prep Your Agency

When the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) ends and Medicaid, CHIP, SNAP, and TANF waivers expire, will your human services agency be ready? The PHE was just extended through October and may remain in place through the end of 2022. Either way, the impact of the PHE ending will be felt soon.

When states begin to resume eligibility reviews, up to 15 million people could lose their current Medicaid or CHIP coverage through a process called “the unwinding.” (Also worth noting: around one in four Americans are currently enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP.) At the same time, tens of millions of SNAP participants could see a reduction in coverage too (or lose it entirely) when emergency allotments and administrative flexibilities end.

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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, 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 Thursday, August 12, 2021 by Rupam Chokshi

Engagement vs. Efficiency: Which Matters More for Economic Assistance?

Economic assistance program leaders are typically motivated to modernize their technology for one of two reasons—improving client engagement or increasing caseworker efficiency. Both are important, but which one has a larger impact across the agency?

I’ll give you a hint … that’s a trick question! If you evaluate technology through just one of these lenses, you may inadvertently hinder your agency from realizing its full potential.

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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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Posted Thursday, May 27, 2021 by Rupam Chokshi

Not Your Average Electronic Document Management System

When you think about the term “electronic document management” in human services, what comes to mind? Converting paper-based case files to digital ones that you simply scan and store in an electronic filing cabinet? Maybe some basic workflows built in to help automate processes?

I’ve worked in document management for almost two decades now. Technology has changed drastically. Most electronic document management systems (EDMS) available to human services agencies have evolved, yet they still haven’t quite kept pace with agencies’ needs.

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Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2020 by Team Northwoods

Readers' Choice Recap: Top Blog Posts of 2020

As another year comes to a close (thank goodness!), it's time to recap our top blogs of 2020.

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 Thursday, September 3, 2020 by Greg Tipping

Economic Assistance Technology Roadmap: Are You Heading in the Right Direction?

The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) recently released a special statement calling for administrative relief for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) agencies.

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Posted Monday, July 6, 2020 by Rupam Chokshi

Prioritizing Technology in Human Services and Preparing for What May Be Next [Lessons from COVID-19]

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for human services in many ways.

Initially, it forced agency leaders to rethink how and where mission-critical work could be done, as well as which tools and technology were truly essential to support this new way of operating. Now, the focus has shifted toward determining the best way to allocate shrinking budgets and limited resources to sustain these changes and navigate the new landscape for the long term.

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