There’s no other way to say it – casework is hard
It requires tremendous patience, the ability to build meaningful relationships amid tragedy, and a heart of gold. The barriers to getting work done can vary, like confronting the systemic obstacles that perpetuated the issues your clients initially came to you for. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a client can find themselves with little or no meaningful change for no other reason than bureaucracy.
Nonprofits are typically underfunded and unable to equip themselves with the tools that are commonplace in their for-profit counterparts.
With all this in mind, the last thing these agencies and organizations want to fight against is technology. At CaseWorthy, we found that roughly 80% of new clients approach us because their case management system was outdated or unable to capture the type of data they needed. Below are a few ways (but certainly not comprehensive) in which you can leverage technology to simplify your casework.
Building Relationships Through Automations
Naturally, much of the communication you have with clients will need to be handled manually. With that said, there are many ways to utilize automations that keep your communication consistent while retaining a personal look and feel.
Examples of Automations:
- Client Intake & Referral
- Needs Assessment
- Scheduling & Reminders
- Case Notes w/ Dictation
- Case Planning & Evaluation
- Service Tracking
Unlike in years past, building meaningful relationships can occur by virtual means. If there has been anything to come from the global pandemic these past couple of years, it’s that our perception of communication has changed. Both nonprofits and for-profits had to “flip a switch” so to speak and interact with clients and customers online.
The best way to implement automations into your everyday routine is to start with the basics. Implementing an evaluation schedule for clients and setting dates ahead of time can be an easy entry point for caseworkers. Once they get a feel for how automation can add value to their day, you can start to build intake forms, automatic reminders, and everything else needed to add to productivity.
Empowering Clients with Tools to Help Themselves
Caseworkers often find their resources stretched and we can all agree there is never enough time in the day. What if we told you that some services could be administered without the direct involvement of a caseworker?
When a self-service portal is implemented into your case management routine, it allows for several functions of your organization to be handled from anywhere, anytime. New clients who submit intake data into your portal can automatically determine which services they are eligible for and take action to improve their circumstances.
Of course, most services provided by nonprofits are required to have a personal touch-point with a caseworker. At a minimum, the process can be started and a lot of the legwork handled prior to your first meeting with the client.
Let Clients Set the Meetings
One thing that most if not all organizations can implement is the ability for clients to take charge of setting appointments with caseworkers. Like with the aforementioned automation – scheduled messages can be planned ahead of time reminding clients that meetings are upcoming, due, or past due.
Centralize Your Case Management
It is vital to always have a 360-degree view of your clients as a caseworker. This is especially true of organizations that offer multiple programs or partner with several providers. But how do you see their needs as a whole and not as individual pieces?
All Your Data in One Place
The amount of data nonprofits and government agencies collect is immense. In addition, it’s common for these organizations to pull data from (or submit data to) external databases. The more you can centralize this process, the more time you can spend providing care. Integrating your case management system with the providers and databases your organization deals with can drastically cut down on redundant work.
Your Workday at a Glance
With a centralized case management experience, you can expect an increase in your caseworker’s ability to shift priorities. Interactive dashboards with all the tools they need in one place are a fantastic way to equip them for the ever-changing pace that comes with social work.
Our Shameless Plug
CaseWorthy prides itself as an all-in-one case management solution. We empower nonprofits and government agencies with the tools to get the job done and we have options to fit almost any budget.