Refugees create unique issues for human services organizations, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining an accurate database to manage the care they need. One of the main things you find with onboarding the refugees into your database is the difficult nature of getting accurate data. It is hard to track that information and store that information and then to get your database to talk to other databases that data.
Government agencies in general tend to stay in their own siloes and be reluctant to share information. Some of it is agency caseworkers being too busy. Some of it is concerns about being HIPAA compliant. And some of it is a healthy paranoia about data security. The right government software solutions can alleviate much of those concerns.
I have seen first hand how having the right human services software can really make a difference in kids’ lives. How kids that are in the system, for whatever reason, can get better treatment, better understanding and a chance to just be kids.
For a nonprofit organization, gaining a better understanding of the data in their system can go a long way towards helping them achieve their mission. Why is data so important for nonprofit organizations? Ultimately, it all comes down to accountability.
The right nonprofit software solution can help you understand your data and find that accountability. It should be one that is user-friendly, effective and thorough. When buying software, you may think the technology aspect is the most important, but it is truly about having the right attitude and change management in place. If you have the right attitude and right people to involve in that change management, there will be success.
I am very lucky to work with a man who cares more about others than himself. Being a social worker sitting with 4 developers on a daily basis presents is challenges. We think and act differently. We approach problems differently and use different forms of communication. But a guy I work with can be deep into his own problems or tasks and see what others need.
Topics: Fun Stuff
Recently, I was at a conference with a client offering a presentation on software implementation. While preparing for the presentation, a conversation occurred with the client that really made me stop and think.
A few days before the training I called this client to review everything and confirm we were ready for our presentation. I asked for her cell phone number so we could connect the day before at the conference. She replied, “Do not laugh at me, I still have a flip phone”. After a short pause, I was not sure what to say. This client is one of the most technically savvy project managers I have worked with in my career. She can write HTML and SQL very well and is responsible for automating her entire workflow of five departments and 125 staff members, and yet she has a phone that I had 20 years ago when I first got out of college. Then just when I thought it could not get any more interesting, she stated that I have to text her “Yes” or “No” questions because she does not know how to text on it and she can only text back one letter.
Having spent years working with troubled youth, I have learned one tool that is both the most useful and the most difficult thing to learn when helping kids: “Shut up and Listen”. Bill Engvall has a stand-up comedy act where his catch phase is “I should have just shut up”.
Since rolling out the Pathways module a few years ago – the tool has proven to help agencies take on some of their own form, reporting and workflow development. During that time, I have been intimately involved in training hundreds of users on Pathways and discussions with focus groups on how to improve the software. We've had a lot of very positive feedback on Pathways. Great stories of triumph have been shared by those who have used the tool to basically build their entire set of specific case management data collection forms and workflow.