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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 Wednesday, October 2, 2019 by Team Northwoods

How Streamlined is Your Human Services Lobby?

Editor's note: this post was published a few months before agencies across the country were forced to close their lobbies and limit interaction in response to COVID-19. As agencies are able to begin reopening, it's even more important to have the right tools in place to improve lobby flow and serve clients quickly. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you want to discuss how Northwoods can help you prioritize safety and comply with public health emergency measures, while keeping up with increasing service demands.

Imagine you’re a working parent balancing three minimum wage jobs to provide stability for your family but find yourself needing to apply for temporary assistance to get by.

You don’t have much time between shifts, so you drive to your local agency to start the application process over your 45-minute lunch break … only to get stuck in line as soon as you enter the lobby. You’re not sure where to go or what to do. Do you stay and risk getting back to work late? Do you come back tomorrow and hope you’ll get served faster?

To the vulnerable citizens who need your help, a line in your lobby may feel like an immediate disservice.

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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 Team Northwoods

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. Crises interrupt operations. Processes change. Time passes. If the way you use technology doesn’t adapt to 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?

Editor’s note: Modern technology can help make the information you capture more searchable, discoverable, and useable to help others. Read our new post, Not Your Average Electronic Document Management System, to learn more about what features to look for when you modernize.

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 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 Monday, May 30, 2016 by Rich Bowlen

5 Proven Ways to Make Technology Adoption Stick in Human Services

Have you ever rolled out a new technology solution, only for no one at your agency to use it? Frustrating? Of course. Fixable? Absolutely.

Technology is improving efficiencies in the workplace like never before. So why is it that so many human services agencies struggle with getting their teams to adopt these new tools? Why do some agencies implement a technology solution, only to watch it fail on the front lines?

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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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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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