Social Services Whitepaper

Doing more with limited resources.

 

Empowering social services organizations to improve service delivery by making better software and technology decisions.

Social Services organizations are constantly challenged to provide greater assistance to their constituents with limited personnel and financial resources. Increased pressures from funding sources to account for the effectiveness of each dollar spent on service versus administrative costs requires your accounting, grant administration and project, program and case management staff to have more effective, integrated and reliable financial and operational software.

Good software must result in real and measurable improvements in efficiency and productivity.

Historically, not-for-profit organizations have been under-served by vendors of financial and operational solutions. Too often, organizations have had to compromise between very specific functional requirements and implementing technology with a lasting future value. Selecting and implementing the right software solutions should allow people to become more efficient, eliminate redundant data entry, connect employees together, deliver timely information on funding sources and expenditures, reduce paper based processes and scale to meet future needs.

This whitepaper addresses the key issues facing social services organizations and provides practical guidelines to assist financial, operational and information technology leaders in solving issues and meeting sophisticated requirements, while establishing a solid technology foundation to resolve future challenges.

Definitions

Social services organizations provide preventative and remedial services to individuals or families experiencing difficulty in meeting their basic needs. The major categories for social assistance are:

  • Child and youth services
  • Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities
  • Other individual and family services
  • Community food services
  • Community housing services
  • Emergency and other relief services
  • Vocational rehabilitation services
  • Child day care services
  • Residential care for elderly, mental health and substance abuse

Overall, the services are designed to; enable physical survival, sustain and support gainful employment, provide support and interaction in times of personal crisis, provide assistance related to health and substance abuse challenges, and to provide access to ancillary services for remedial education, transportation and referrals.

Quite often, social services are closely linked to governmental programs with organizations obtaining substantial funding from government grants to complement other individual, corporate, religion-based and foundation sources. While organizations delivering social services include governments as well as not-for-profi t (NFP) or non-governmental (NGO) organizations, we will focus on the role of NFPs/NGOs versus government agencies or departments and refer to these organizations as NFPs, recognizing that in many parts of the world, NGO is the more accurate acronym.

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