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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 Friday, September 11, 2020 by Team Northwoods

The Cost of Doing Nothing: How Inaction Can Hurt Human Services

Convincing administrators, board members, legislators, and general stakeholders that your human services agency needs to purchase new technology is hard, no matter how essential. You’re up against several roadblocks—finite budgets, shrinking revenues, and competing priorities, to name a few.

How can you make a compelling case to get support and overcome these roadblocks?

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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 Thursday, August 6, 2020 by Team Northwoods

How to Buy Human Services Technology (Even During a Crisis)

Buying technology for human services can be hard, especially for agencies that have never done so before. (Of course, working through this process amid a global pandemic and economic instability adds a new layer of complication!)

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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 Thursday, June 18, 2020 by Greg Tipping

Streamline and Simplify How Child Support Caseworkers Do Their Job

“It's just so much paperwork. It's hard on me because you know that the families aren't getting the money they need for that month.” Tammy Baldwin, Child Support Agent II, Lenoir County (North Carolina) Department of Social Services

If you’re a child support caseworker, you may feel overwhelmed. Creating court orders and motions is a tedious, paper-heavy, and time-consuming process, not to mention obtaining complete information regarding non-custodial parents.

Additionally, most child support caseworkers lose valuable time every day to the antiquated documentation systems and manual processes they use to collect, retrieve, and share information. This makes it impossible to be truly efficient and provide complete client service, which can delay families from accessing resources and children from receiving the support they need for their well-being.

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Posted Monday, May 11, 2020 by Team Northwoods

Apps for the Mobile Social Worker

Over the past seven years, this blog post has become a go-to resource for social workers looking for tools and apps to both assist with their work and manage their everyday lives. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve here in the U.S. and around the world, we wanted to expand our current list with some additional apps that can help you work from home, save time, and deal with stress.

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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 Monday, April 27, 2020 by Rich Bowlen

Software to Support Remote Work: 5 Ways Traverse Helps Child Welfare

Technology can never replace human interaction in child welfare. And it shouldn’t. Connecting with children and families is fundamental to improving outcomes and well-being.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has caused many child welfare agencies to quickly pivot to support a remote workforce, and enable people to connect and share important information in new and different ways. Some child welfare experts predict connecting remotely will become part of the new normal for child welfare through things like video chats, collaboration apps, or instant messaging tools.

Traverse, Northwoods’ child welfare software, is empowering remote work across the country today, while supporting caseworkers’ efforts to provide critical service delivery, in a variety of ways. We put five best practices from agencies using Traverse into a 25-minute webinar. If you’re strapped for time, keep reading below.

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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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