The debate between caseworkers and case managers about the size of caseloads continues to rage. Caseworkers feel overloaded, and they believe the quality of the service they provide suffers accordingly. Case managers pass the buck up to senior agency management complaining that they are severely understaffed. Senior agency management blames budgets and funding, and sends regrets back down to the overburdened case workers as the line for services continues to extend ever further out from the agency’s doors. Everyone is concerned. No one seems to know what to do.
"If it isn't documented, it didn't happen."
This is the cynical mantra of both private and public social service agencies. The limitations of blog space prevent me from retelling countless case histories where a social worker is accused of neglect or wrongdoing by a client or agency and must produce a documented history of client contacts. It is sufficient to note that social workers sometimes find themselves in situations where they must be able to provide evidence of their conduct and actions during some time in the past. This may occur in the context of litigation or adjudication of an ethics complaint filed with a state licensing board or the National Association of Social Workers. Although most social workers understand the importance of careful and thoughtful documentation, some do not.
When a nonprofit can find a more effective way to ask for donations (and get them), it’s a big win. In early May, I attended a conference in Minneapolis focused on marketing and business. The conference is held once a year, and attendees learn about what’s working in the marketing industry. It’s a great place to pick up new ideas. One speaker, in particular, really caught my attention. He discussed a powerful marketing technique that I thought would work exceptionally well when applied to nonprofits.