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 Thursday, July 7, 2022 by Laura Haffield

What’s Working to Solve the Staffing Crisis in Human Services?

Since the pandemic and so called “Great Resignation,” the staffing crisis has hit helping professions hard. These days it seems everyone is talking about it ... and for good reason. Long term care facilities, treatment centers, day cares and schools, and human services agencies—very few have not felt the effects of unprecedented levels of turnover and vacant positions.

In fact, Aysha E. Schomburg, associate commissioner for the Children’s Bureau, acknowledged the scope of the problem on the Child Welfare Information Gateway podcast, saying “I’m hearing about the mass resignations that are happening in our field, and our field is frankly in crisis.”

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Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2022 by Laura Haffield

Self-Care is So Yesterday: How to Re-Focus on Worker Well-Being and Foster Psychological Safety

“We need to talk about how we bake resilience into systems and teams. Otherwise, the onus is back on the person under stress.” – Dr. Tiffany Lindsey, EdD, LPC-MHSP

I recently listened to Dr. Lindsey speak as part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Social Work Public Child Welfare Training Program Spring Dialogue, and I’ve been thinking about this concept ever since. So much so that I asked Dr. Lindsey, an assistant professor and Safe Systems Practitioner at the University of Kentucky, if she would virtually sit down with me afterwards to speak more on safety culture, promoting worker well-being, and her work with the National Partnership for Child Safety.

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Posted Thursday, March 10, 2022 by Team Northwoods

Links We Love: Break the Burnout Cycle in Human Services [Resources]

The helpers are tired. Add the pandemic and the “Great Resignation” on top of already challenging, high-stress work and it’s no surprise that the human services workforce is in crisis.

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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 Tuesday, April 23, 2019 by Rich Bowlen

How to Knock Down Common Productivity Hurdles in Child Welfare

It’s no secret that child welfare social workers are more time-strapped than ever.

This presents a constant challenge for supervisors and directors as well: figuring out how to help workers be productive and drive meaningful outcomes in environments that don’t naturally lend themselves to it.

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Posted Thursday, March 15, 2018 by Rich Bowlen

How Does the Opioid Epidemic Impact Child Welfare Caseworkers?

Kristi Burre has spent almost 20 years working in public service and child protection, but she’s never seen a greater need to support her caseworkers than she does today.

As Deputy Director of Fairfield County Child and Adult Protective Services in Ohio, Kristi has a front row seat to watch how the opioid epidemic wreaks havoc both inside and outside the agency’s walls.

As a result, she says, “The needs of our families, the needs of our children, and the needs of our system are more critical than they’ve ever been before.”

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Posted Monday, February 6, 2017 by Chuck Barber

How Lenoir County Broke the Social Work Burnout Cycle in Child Welfare

Editor’s note: This testimonial references a product that will be sunset in 2022. Learn more about our next-generation child welfare technology or view more recent customer stories.

Keeping case initiation rates high and turnover low are two big priorities for Child Welfare program managers; however, without the right tools and processes in place, both are much easier said than done. Just ask Lenoir County Department of Social Services (DSS).

In 2006, the turnover rate for Lenoir County’s Child Welfare unit was 73% because documentation requirements and emotional stress were taking such a big toll on social workers. Inefficient processes affected case initiation rates too, which hovered below the 95% state standard at 80-85%.

Now, workers have access to office-based and field-based document management solutions designed for Child Welfare that give them more time to focus on engaging clients, building trust, and delivering quality service. As a result, turnover has decreased to 17% and social workers are consistently exceeding the state standard for case initiation with a 97% rate.

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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).

The agency was performing well until the economic downturn hit.

Then Cabarrus County DHS faced pressures common to human services agencies across North Carolina and the entire country – an influx of Medicaid clients from the Affordable Care Act, adjusting to the state’s case management system, NC FAST, and seasonally busy times for crisis or energy assistance.

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Posted Tuesday, September 29, 2015 by Rich Bowlen

This Isn’t Why I Got Into Social Work

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