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 Tuesday, January 31, 2023 by Team Northwoods

Can't Miss Conferences for Human Services in 2023

Over the past several 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.  

It's been a while since we've planned for a full conference season, so we're excited to have so many events on the schedule this year!

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Posted Thursday, January 19, 2023 by Amy Drapcho

Is Any Money Out There? A Quick Guide to Grants for Human Services

As your human services agency navigates the complex technology buying process, you may find yourself wondering what external funding streams are available, outside of your agency’s budget, and how to access them to support or enhance your upcoming project. Local, state, and national grant opportunities are a resource you can strategically leverage to support innovation, modernization, and workforce initiatives.

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Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2022 by Team Northwoods

Readers' Choice Recap: Top Blog Posts of 2022

Another year is coming to a close and that means it's time to recap our top blogs of 2022. Whether you're new here (welcome!) or a regular reader (welcome back!), we hope you'll find something new and insightful in this year's list.

Subscribe to the blog via email so you never miss out on future content or get in touch with our team if certain trends, topics, or challenges are on your mind as we head into the new year. As always, thanks for reading along with us!

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Posted Wednesday, November 2, 2022 by Team Northwoods

From Input to Insight: How Brunswick County Leverages Data in Traverse

“We have all this great data in Traverse. The way we're organizing it, we can pull it out in a meaningful way.” – Cathy Lytch, Social Services Director, Brunswick County Department of Social Services (DSS)

This feedback from a customer is one of the reasons why we built our flagship software Traverse® in the first place. We often hear how workers spend too much time collecting, entering, and verifying data, but not enough time using it to inform decisions and actions. The same goes for agency leaders who have a trove of valuable insight buried in their systems for collecting data for compliance and reporting.

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Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2022 by Team Northwoods

7 Ways to See If Your Technology Is Meeting Caseworkers’ Expectations

We may never be able to predict where the industry is heading in the next five to 10 years, but we do know there are some key issues facing human services today that will continue to impact the industry tomorrow. Modern technology is a linchpin in how successfully agencies can address them.

Our eBook, “Modernizing Human Services: Technology’s Integral Role in Addressing Key Issues,” dives into a few of these critical issues (think caseworker burnout and client disengagement) and explores the role that technology plays in overcoming each one. Keep reading for a short summary of how IT and program leaders can be the hero to human services caseworkers who need immediate support to help clients today, while positioning agencies for continued success in the long term.

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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 Wednesday, June 15, 2022 by Team Northwoods

Empowering Adult & Aging Caseworkers with Information to Support Elder Abuse Prevention Efforts

Editor’s note: we originally published this post in 2019 shortly after Route Fifty named elder abuse the “silent epidemic of our time.” Unfortunately, cases have continued to increase—both in number and intensity—during the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning it’s even more important now for adult & aging caseworkers to have faster access to relevant information to create better support for clients’ overall well-being.

The mistreatment of older adults is a significant problem across the country. That’s why World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)—acknowledged annually on June 15—is a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

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Posted Friday, April 8, 2022 by Team Northwoods

Forget the Price Tag: Key Points When Buying Human Services Technology

How much does human services technology cost? It’s a simple question with a complex answer.

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Posted Tuesday, March 8, 2022 by Team Northwoods

Why Do Social Workers Burn Out?

Social worker burnout and turnover have always been a significant problem in human and social services. Turnover in child welfare has ranged from 20-40% annually for the last two decades. But today the stakes are higher than ever. Frontline workers are mentally, emotionally, and physically drained.

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Posted Monday, February 21, 2022 by Team Northwoods

Hybrid is Here to Stay: How to Support Remote Teams in Human Services

Editor’s note: We originally published this post in March 2020—just days after the start of the pandemic as many caseworkers and agency leaders were still navigating the transition to remote work. Nearly two years later, we’ve learned that remote and hybrid work models are now here to stay.

Social services agencies have found benefits in hybrid and remote options for their workforce and clients alike and have begun to implement permanent flexible work polices to stay competitive to applicants. Despite the benefits, the task of fundamentally shifting work models is still a challenge. The same tips are still applicable, but the impact has changed, especially now that the social services workforce is in crisis.

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