Still Using Technologies Cobbled Together During the Pandemic to Support Virtual Service Delivery?
Now is the time to invest in systems that break down barriers to services and promote modern practices that empower families to achieve their self—sufficiency goals.
Hard to believe that it was January 21, 2020, when the Center for Disease Control confirmed the first case of Coronavirus in the United State. This once in a lifetime (hopefully) pandemic challenged the way we work and how we help protect families and children. Simple procedures once handled in person needed to move online quickly.
To meet the challenge, human service programs cobbled together, as best as possible, different technologies to meet the need for virtual services, all while trying to keep up with the constant change in program services, policies, and requirements.
These band-aid solutions include web conferencing to facilitate virtual meetings, orientations and trainings; editable PDFs for filling out forms; electronic signature applications for obtaining required signatures; and email for file sharing and document upload.
As we all have witnessed, the benefits of a virtual service delivery model are many and numerous human service agencies have pledged to continue to offer virtual alongside in-person services while others are going completely virtual.
However, the administrative burden of juggling different technologies for different and often overlapping purposes remains for case managers, and in particular participants, as they can be easily overwhelmed given the toxic stress of poverty.
As we look to recover from the pandemic and get back to what will certainly be a “new normal”, human services organizations need to evaluate their current set of technologies quickly put in place to understand if they are indeed the best fit going forward and if there continued is not further exacerbating the structural barriers to accessing assistance.
TuaPath is an innovative, mobile friendly, multi-lingual technology that offers, through a single interface, all the capabilities needed to elevate human services delivery to meet the demands of the people served, regardless of whether you offer in-person, virtual or a hybrid of services.
Across Colorado and Michigan numerous TANF, SNAP, WIOA and NCP programs are using TuaPath for all aspects of their programs.
- Watch orientation or training videos
Participants can watch online orientation or training videos at their own pace and as often as needed. When finished, participants can be prompted to take a quiz to test their comprehension.
Whether it’s a professionally curated video or a simple self-recorded video using Microsoft PowerPoint, doesn’t matter. Any video can play within TuaPath. The point is, you no longer need to schedule a Zoom meeting and hope a participant(s) show up.
- Complete intake or orientation required forms
Any type of acknowledgement or consent forms can be replicated in TuaPath. Participants fill out the form by answering the prompts and can enter their Personal Identification Number (PIN) to electronically sign the form.
- Offer online education, employment, skills, training and other assessments
Assessments used to gain an understanding of a participant situation including education, work history, skills and family support can be created in TuaPath and easily filled out by a participant. Often participants feel overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork required. Instead, assessments and other forms can be completed at their own pace and when it best works for them, perhaps after the kids are in bed. Case managers can reassign sections of an assessment, and have the participant go back enter additional details or modify their answers.
“I like that participants can go in and rework the assessment based on our conversation. I can encourage them to do some different things, expand upon areas so they have a good understanding of where they are and where want to go.”GST Michigan Works! Coach
- Identify goals and action steps to achievement.
TuaPath is all about empowering participants to get into the driver’s seat of their own lives and take responsibility for goal setting and goal achievement. TuaPath systemically walks participants through the process of goal setting, prompting participants to enter in their own words their goals and the action steps to achievement. The action plan is visually displayed front and center on the participant’s dashboard so it’s always accessible. Action steps can be prioritized as circumstances change, completed and celebrated as a victory, and progress tracked in real-time. As goals are achieved and new action steps are identified, the action plan is updated automatically.
“I think that's, what's making this a success is because they're seeing, hey, I did it, I did it. And so I'm really glad that they can see it and I want to keep it going too."GST Michigan Works! Coach
Coaches during regular check-in meetings have a similar view so everyone is on the same page.
- Training and valuable resource and provider info accessible at any time
Instead of emailing a one-page handout on how to create a basic resume, case managers can add the resource to a participant’s action plan. Participant need not stress about keeping track of such resources, as they are easily accessible in TuaPath at any time. And when the participant has finished creating their resume, they can upload a copy for the coach to review within the same action step.
- Uploading and retrieval of documentation
Participants can take photos and submit documentation directly to their case file or upload such from a computer.At any time, participants can view, download or print off copies of their files and paperwork providing full transparency.
- Supports reminders, notifications and text/email communications
Life gets crazy even for those of us who are not overwhelmed by the toxic stress of poverty. We need nudges to ensure we’re on-time, stay focused and on track, and don’t miss deadlines. TuaPath sends out automatically email/text messages to participants to remind of upcoming meetings with case managers or encourage enter work participation hours on a timely basis for example.In one click, participants as well as case managers can send an email communication with the activity history automatically tracked.
- Entering and tracking work participation activities and hours
Participants from the convenience of their phone or a computer, can enter and track their work participation activities and hours on a weekly/monthly basis. TuaPath can generate state forms, populated with the activities and hours information entered, that can be downloaded and/or printed off for verification signature.
“Before, had to figure out the fine line between saying, yeah, that's great, but just get your hours in. TuaPath helps get the information needed in on time. I no longer need to chase them.”GST Michigan Works! Coach
Automated nudges can be sent via email and/or text message to remind participants to turn in the hours, significantly reducing the administrative burden of chasing compliance. Across the board, TuaPath customers are reporting a significant increase in on-time submission rate between 70-80%.
- Two way facing platform
To build trust and transparency between both participant and coach, the platform is two-way facing in that the coach views and interacts with the platform in the same manner as the participant, so they are always on “the same page” whether meeting in person or virtually on the phone.
- Reporting on outcomes as well as compliance
TuaPath includes a robust reporting engine that puts valuable data into the hands of supervisors and case managers to assist them in managing their caseloads, monitoring engagement and retention, tracking outcomes and identifying trends and gaps in service.
Instead of asking participants to be fluent across a range of technologies, which can lead to an increase in stress for everyone involved, you just need one platform, TuaPath.
Numerous Colorado Works (TANF) and Michigan Works! (TANF) agencies relied on TuaPath during the pandemic and have made it a part of their strategic plan going forward. You can as well.
Sign up for a demonstration with TuaPath to explore you can more efficiently and effectively deliver services to your community.