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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, March 24, 2021 by Michael Drabek

Think You're Ready to Buy Human Services Technology? Think Again.

“It’s easy to make things hard. It’s hard to make things easy.”

This adage rings true for human services in many ways, especially when it comes to purchasing and implementing technology. The process can be complicated for anyone, but if your agency overlooks certain key steps or considerations along the way, it becomes that much harder.

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Posted Tuesday, February 9, 2021 by Rupam Chokshi

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
technology is sweet,
but is it really helping you?

You know that technology has the potential to modernize service delivery and drastically alter how you interact with clients. Too often though, human services agencies commit to technology that doesn’t end up delivering on the value it promises. 

Just as two solutions are never quite the same, neither are two vendors that provide them. Even if companies (or their tools) look similar on paper, dig a little deeper and you’ll find subtle nuances in how each one approaches their business. It’s these nuances that will have a significant impact on your project’s success.

Below is a list of questions that can help you separate a strategic partner who truly wants to help your organization grow over time from a run-of-the-mill vendor that’ll move on as soon as your transaction is complete.

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Posted Thursday, January 28, 2021 by Rupam Chokshi

Answering Your Coronavirus Relief Fund Questions for Human Services

Editor's note: The deadline to use the Coronavirus Relief Fund has been extended to Dec. 30, 2021, and this post has been updated to reflect that change.

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 Tuesday, January 19, 2021 by Team Northwoods

Can't Miss Conferences for Human Services in 2021

Over the past five years, this blog post has become a go-to resource for readers looking for information about the best industry conferences to keep up to date on key issues, trends, and topics impacting human services.  

Well, like many things, COVID-19 forced many of the conferences and events we would typically recommend to cancel or transition to virtual events last year. Since things are still uncertain as we head into the new year, many organizations are still figuring out their plans for moving forward. The good news is, a lot of virtual events and learning opportunities have also emerged to fill the void. 


This year may look a little different, but we still want to provide some recommendations to help you find the best events to fill your schedule
in person or virtually. We’ll continue to update this list throughout the year as new information and opportunities become available. 

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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 Monday, December 14, 2020 by Cale Bryan

How to Mitigate Risk, Maximize Results with New Human Services Technology

Technology for health and human services has gone from a nice to have to a must have. Agencies want to modernize their technology to manage the ripple effects of COVID-19, but struggle to figure out how. Revenue hits. Budget cuts. Furloughs. All of these make it increasingly difficult for agencies to fund new projects.

The good news? Getting new tools in place is not only possible but can be done in a way that provides both quick results and footing for better outcomes in the future. It just takes a bit of strategic planning, creative thinking, and business savvy.

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Posted Wednesday, December 2, 2020 by Team Northwoods

Getting the Green Light: How to Justify Spending on Technology for Human Services

Is your human services agency planning to purchase new technology in 2021? In today’s world, agency leaders struggle to justify the need for new technology amid budget crises while IT leaders have been forced to cut many planned expenses in order to focus on the few that directly support COVID-19-related initiatives and precautions.

A comprehensive and compelling business case that presents three critical components—hard return on investment (ROI), non-quantifiable benefits, and the social/community impact of your purchase—may be a determining factor in whether your request gets the green light.

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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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