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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 Thursday, July 23, 2020 by Rupam Chokshi

Answering Your Coronavirus Relief Fund Questions for Human Services

While the Coronavirus Relief Fund established under the CARES Act is meant to provide much needed aid to state and local governments tasked with responding to COVID-19, questions remain about how the money can be properly spent.

We’ve spoken to human services directors in several states about using the Fund to improve telework capabilities for public employees to enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions.

Time is of the essence to help your frontline staff continue serving your community safely, so we’ve answered some common questions around how to take advantage of relief funds below.

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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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Posted Wednesday, April 29, 2020 by Team Northwoods

Navigating the New Normal (Q&A with Child Welfare Evangelist Rich Bowlen)

It’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic will impact child welfare for years to come. We asked our child welfare evangelist, Rich Bowlen, to share his insight on how agencies are adapting, what this means for child welfare in the future, and how to weather the long-term aftereffects of the storm.


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Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2020 by Team Northwoods

Reimagining Service Delivery in a Remote World (Q&A with Economic Assistance Evangelist Greg Tipping)

The COVID-19 pandemic is placing immediate and direct burden on economic assistance agencies tasked with handling an unprecedented uptick in applications for benefits.

We asked economic assistance evangelist, Greg Tipping, to share his insight on how agencies are adapting to remote work, how the pandemic is forcing leaders to reimagine the system, and the role modern technology will play in helping caseworkers manage the mountain of work headed their way.

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Posted Thursday, January 30, 2020 by Team Northwoods

Can't Miss Conferences for Human Services in 2020 [Updated!]

Editor's note: We're monitoring information to provide updates as conferences across the country get cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. This post was most recently updated on August 28, 2020.

If one of your 2020 goals is to keep your finger on the pulse of key issues, trends, and topics impacting your agency and/or the community, industry conferences are a great way to get started.

We've vetted a lot of human services and digital government conferences over time, and we like to start each new year with our recommendations.

This list represents events that not only have excellent programming and speakers, but also build in time for attendees to network and discuss how they're addressing key opportunities and challenges.

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Posted Wednesday, July 24, 2019 by Rich Bowlen

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway—5 Ideas to Create Meaningful Change in Child Welfare

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.” 
— John F. Kennedy

Life is a series of calculated risks and decisions. We know it pays off to take risks to advance our professional and personal lives, so let me ask you a few questions: why aren’t we doing the same for the children who rely on us? Why are we so hesitant to take bold action on behalf of innocent kids enduring some of life’s most horrific atrocities?

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Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2019 by Team Northwoods

An Essential Reading List for Human Services Agency Leaders

No matter how many different priorities human services agency leaders juggle, one thing always remains the same: wanting to deliver the best possible experience and outcomes for the families that rely on your agency’s services.

That means carving out time to research what trends, tools, and emerging technologies can have the most significant impact on the industry, as well as what can be learned from other agencies, programs, or states.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite government, human services, and technology websites to help you get ahead of the curve. You can also follow all the sites mentioned below (and more!) with our Twitter list.

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Posted Friday, September 14, 2018 by Chris Carlson

Health and Human Services Technology for High-Value Work (Q&A with Rupam Chokshi, 2018 APHSA Emerging Leader)

Rupam Chokshi, director of product marketing, has been an integral part of our organization for many years and continues to help us grow and improve. His in-depth knowledge of the health and human services (HHS) sector, modernization of technology, and improvement of business processes is a key factor in Northwoods’ ability to build software solutions that are designed around solving state and local HHS agencies’ most important problems. 

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Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2018 by Rupam Chokshi

Tech Talk 101: 30 Child Welfare Technology and Business Terms to Know

Child welfare technology is constantly evolving: trends ebb and flow, policies and mandates change, and new tools become available seemingly every day.

Beyond changing how work gets done, it’s also changing the way you talk about it—both about your challenges and how technology can be used to help solve them.

We’ve compiled a list of terms you’ve likely heard in conversation or come across in practice articles related to technology, along with their definitions, how they relate to each other, and what they mean for child welfare.

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Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2018 by Rupam Chokshi

5 Ways a System of Engagement Benefits Child Welfare

Modernizing to the new Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (CCWIS) creates a major opportunity for child welfare organizations to apply innovative solutions to overcome systematic barriers.

However, too many states and agencies may still view CCWIS as the next Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) with little change.

Where SACWIS was more of a “one-size-fits-all” model, CCWIS allows agencies to tailor their IT needs to align with their unique program requirements.

This opens the door for child welfare organizations to consider next-generation technology, like a system of engagement, that revolutionizes how social workers deliver services and interact with clients.

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