Research Library

Our Research Library includes white papers, presentations, fact sheets, news articles, and templates from human services industry experts to help agencies implement technology in human services.

We’ve also reviewed each resource to help you:

  • Discover human services software solutions that work for your agency
  • Support your case for funding with stakeholders
  • Implement technology for caseworkers by gaining internal support

Note from the reviewer: My goal has always been a simple one: do the most good for the most children. As the former director of Fairfield County Child and Adult Protective Services in Ohio, I am fully aware of the administrative and direct service challenges associated with serving a community. In my role at Northwoods, I have the opportunity to share this Research Library, helping agencies discover new ways to overcome those challenges. I’ll add a new resource every few weeks, so check back or sign up to receive email notifications directly in your inbox.

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Research Library

  Title Author Last Modified            
This document is a great study on the volume and cost associated with the overwhelming amount of both paper and electronic information continually being processed by child welfare professionals. In fact, within the problem statement of this document, the following argument is offered, “Modernizing, streamlining, and automating manual information management processes would save Child Welfare millions of dollars, simplify caseworker tasks, greatly reduce errors, and provide better service to its clients.” While the document itself speaks specifically to the State of Oregon, it provides an exceptional walkthrough of the detailed efforts utilized to quantify meaningful recommendations for child welfare agencies.
The article provides usable data regarding workload analysis for child welfare social workers. It includes categories of duties and tasks common in the field and breaks down the difference in travel time, documentation efforts, and face-to-face contact. For organizations searching for research to support their position to employ solutions that manage workloads, streamline activities and reduce burdens of direct service staff, this article is a great source.
This piece is especially helpful for IT administrators and personnel in having conversations with agency program staff. The template includes worksheets with questions agencies are able to use as is or select portions that resonate most with the current situations. It also includes a skill readiness assessment for staff or end users. In addition to providing a series of questions, this document provides insight around why this list of questions is important to consider and provides an outline to follow in developing your technology plan. Many organizations have a plan to use technology, but assembling a thorough, well thought out technology plan to meet an organization’s immediate, short-term and long-term needs involves much more.
Workitect is a great resource to review when working on projects. In addition to providing additional sources of information, Workitect provides walkthrough guidance complete with examples that make it easy for new managers to use within their own teams. While this piece references Chapter 5 – Managing Change, the entire Workitect competencies series (http://www.workitect.com/pdf/ResourceGuide_DevCompetencies.pdf) merits review. This specific resource is helpful for leaders as they assemble their team to facilitate change, especially when identifying the skill sets necessary for quality managers who can effectively support their vision.
A resource completed by Tom Adams, President and Senior Managing Partner of Transition Guides and Project Consultant for Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Executive Transition Management and Capacity Building Initiative. Capturing the Power of Leadership Change uses more than eleven different additional resources to highlight challenges, topics and recommendations for issues confronting organizations facing administrative transition periods.
This is an older resource article (from 2009) regarding various considerations to review when preparing to implement technology within your organization. From time to time, administrators, directors, and project managers are simply looking for a place to start when introducing an initiative such as rolling out technology within their organization. This resource does a very nice job using examples within agencies that offer a great starting point for conversations with agency staff.
Great piece from the Children’s Bureau featuring comments by Jerry Milner regarding the effort required to bring about systemic change within the child welfare system. Identifying the need to address meaningful change on “day-to-day practice” starts with caseworkers in the field and not just creating new policies.