The FAMCare Blog

Social Services - The Last 20 Years

Posted by George Ritacco on Oct 9, 2017 11:08:00 AM


A Dramatic Transformation

Global Vision Technologies is celebrating its twentieth anniversary as a leading developer of case management software for governmental and non-profit social service agencies. Over the past twenty years we have participated in the astounding growth of social service agencies, services, case workers, and clients.

Along with this growth in social work numbers,

  • an expansion of needs assessments,
  • a heightening of professional standards,
  • and a dramatic improvement in social work education has taken place...
But perhaps the most dramatic change we have experienced over these past twenty years is how the social work profession sees its mission.

From Defense

In 1997, when Global Vision Technologies was asked to create the first web-based case management platform for a consortium of child welfare agencies in Missouri, social workers saw themselves as “saviors of last resort” for the disadvantaged and troubled. Case workers were swamped with cases and were working overtime to keep up.  Social service agencies were definitely on the defense and asked us to create an efficient case management software that would enable case workers to handle the load. We did just that and have continued to work for twenty years with all areas of the social work profession to improve our case management systems.

To Offense

Gradually, however, the social work profession began to look for ways to solve the underlying social problems that were driving so many clients to their door. Case workers started to realize that they could perhaps prevent some of the trauma and tragedy they were being asked to heal. They began to apply a sort of triage to the cases they were handling in an effort to assign priorities to causes rather than treating symptoms. They have gradually shifted from a deluged reactive service to a proactive vision of social work’s role. They are getting “off defense” and getting “on offense.”

Twelve Challenges

After twenty years of experience and analysis, the social work profession has codified its new proactive stance into what is known as the twelve challenges.

  1. Ensure healthy development for all youth.
  2. Close the health gap.
  3. Stop family violence.
  4. Advance long and productive lives.
  5. Eradicate social isolation.
  6. End homelessness.
  7. Create social responses to a changing environment.
  8. Harness technology for social good.
  9. Promote smart job creation.
  10. Build financial capability for all.
  11. Reduce extreme economic inequality.
  12. Achieve equal opportunity and justice.

The Big Picture

Individual case workers do not focus their daily activity on long range social engineering. After all, they must find immediate housing for a single mother and her two infants. However, when mired in the muck of daily trauma and tragedy, social workers tell us they find inspiration by occasionally looking up and seeing where the social work ship is headed. It gives them hope to visualize solutions and inspires them to work toward them in any small way they can. Although it appears insignificant, this long-term proactive view is a dramatic transformation of consciousness in the social work profession over the past twenty years.


Topics: Global Vision Technologies, Social Services Industry News, FAMCare

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