For those working in child services, an understanding of family situations is vital in being able to help improve child welfare. Fortunately for those agencies, utilizing the right social services software can help streamline processes and effectively “humanize” the various situations.
The goal is to always be improving child welfare through various services, responses and interventions, and with the right social services software on your side, the tasks can become easier to track and perhaps even more simple.
Common Situations for Welfare Workers
The most common thing faced by child welfare workers is the removal of children from their homes. These children could be getting placed in out-of-home care, including options like treatment, residential, medical placement or with relatives or in foster care.
One of the most problematic issues you can run into if the correct systems are not in place is not knowing where the kids are. If you can’t track where the children have been placed, the day-to-day job is harder to do and, obviously, it is a huge problem and major safety concern.
With my background in Nebraska’s Child Protective Services, I know that caseworkers here are required to do monthly face-to-face visits with the youth, and depending on the case plan, possible the family as well. Child welfare and a better understanding of a family’s situation can be attained through the organization and staying on top of things. In fact, using the correct social services software should be able to help improve things almost instantly.
Issues Caseworkers Handle
A caseworker is there to help make sure the youth and family are getting what they need, which includes referrals to services and agencies that will be beneficial for all.
With social services software, such as FAMCare, you have the ability to track referral information and service information. This means that not only can you see the history of the family or youth, but you can easily view all the details. These details can include items like agencies that have worked with them prior and the success rates. One thing a caseworker doesn’t want to do is re-refer a service or agency that wasn’t helpful for the family and their situation.
How Social Services Software Can Help
You'll find that the importance of social services software comes from the data and organizational aspects it provides for caseworkers. The software is vital in tracking clients and their cases and can include information such as:
- Demographic Information
- Services Needed/Used
- Case Information and Notes
- Case History
Not only is the software helpful in understanding the child and family’s needs, but it can also be helpful in tracking information about other agencies or foster parents. You can track what type of placements they will take, youth they will take, licensing level and training, which helps the caseworkers better match youth with foster parents. Overall, this is helping to better meet the child’s needs.
Most importantly, the right software is there to help make a situation more than just a case number. With FAMCare, you can put the youth’s picture in the programming, which puts a face to the name. They are no longer a number - there is a real-life child behind all the data and that is something that motivates all caseworkers.
Understanding family situations and the needs of children can be difficult, but fortunately for caseworkers, the process can be helped by using the right software. At the end of the day, it all comes down to providing ideal care and solutions for children, so they may have the best possible lives.
By Mandy Frary
FAMCare Operational Manager
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in June 2018 and has been updated with additional information.