More Similar Than Different
Caretivity makes software for social work professionals to collaborate with each other and their clients like never before. While building our software on the principles of Agile, we noticed that these principles were similar to the way teams are supposed to collaborate in the social work space. The similarities became extremely apparent when we looked at the principles of wraparound and how it takes a village to provide care to a client. We realized that we could apply the same principles of how we built the software to how you, the social worker, build a system of care around your clients.
The Agile Manifesto explained:
Back in 2001, a group of software developers were fed up with the way they had to do their jobs. Frustrated with all the different rules they were expected to follow, processes they felt got in the way of actually doing their jobs, and the overall status quo of how “things had always been done,” they established a set of guidelines they felt like every other programmer should follow. These guidelines are outlined in what they coined “The Agile Manifesto” and are as follows:
1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
4. Responding to change over following a plan
Like all other software developers, we understand why these values were established and have seen the problems that arise when they are not followed.
How the Agile Manifesto Values Relate to Social Work
Working with social workers around the nation, we noticed that many of them struggled with similar issues in their jobs, and these issues caused them to feel like they couldn’t perform their best work.
The Agile Manifesto attempts to uncover “better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.” Can we break down this manifesto and find a place to integrate social work?
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Is that not why we have real humans as social workers? We don’t have AI systems running the DHS because we want to put a face to a name, to have a real connection with the clients that the government attempts to serve. People didn’t get into social work to sit behind a desk and file papers; they wanted to make a real impact in other people’s lives. That happens when you make a connection with an individual, not when you process someone’s name through a system and never know their story.
Working software over comprehensive documentation. That basically means to get the job done by any means necessary and to not worry about all the guidelines involved with how you’re supposed to do it. This is a difficult task when it comes to government work. The government loves process, paperwork, documentation, management, oversight, and other requirements that prevent social workers in the field from moving and operating quickly when a client is in need. We predict that the future of the industry will be asking for forgiveness rather than permission.
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation. If a client has a need that seems either too expensive or time-consuming for your agency to handle, you wouldn’t just give up on the client and their need. Collaboration with your client is key, whether you try to find an alternative solution or you look outside your agency to meet that need.
Responding to change over following a plan. As a social worker, you must be able to think on your feet and overcome adversity that stands in your way. Most of the time, doing things by the book will work just fine. But when rapid change occurs, you need to be prepared to take it head-on and do what it takes to fight for your client.
Our Proposed Social Work Manifesto
1. The person comes before the process.
We understand that we need to follow rules and regulations, especially in a heavily governed discipline like social work. But as social workers, providers, and team members, we need to shift our focus away from what do the rules tell me to do toward what is best for my client.
2. Fix it now, document it later.
We understand that your performance and compliance is judged on the paperwork you produce, but social workers everywhere feel overwhelmed by the volume. We believe that tons of paperwork prohibits people from performing at their best. We would love for directors, supervisors, and governing bodies to focus less on paperwork and documentation, and more on the problems we set out to solve.
3. Find creative solutions through collaboration.
We obviously love the idea of team-based care. We believe that all team members, including clients, have some form of knowledge or understanding they can bring to the table to achieve success. Clients need to feel empowered by the team and supported for their efforts, rather than feel like they’re being blamed for their wrongdoings in the past.
4. Roll with the punches.
Social work is hard. No two days are the same and new problems arise all the time. But that’s why you do what you do. Not many people can handle these ever-changing issues. Keep up the good work, know that you are making a difference every day, and embrace change.
So Now What?
Want to see these new values in action? Leave your email below to see a virtual live demo of Caretivity brought to you by our team of experts.
When we begin to connect children, parents, and caregivers with other team members who are just as invested in the family’s success, coordinating all these tasks becomes a shared responsibility. This work will not only expand the ecosystem of our clients but enable mutually beneficial results. We can see families, caregivers, and children more often, experience parents independently using positive supports, and act on what we said we would do if we only had the time.
Caretivity brings all your social work communication into one space, which allows you to spend more time on the important things: your clients and the lives you impact. Learn more about how to get Caretivity for your organization.
Interested in Caretivity for your organization?
Contact us if you have questions about how Caretivity can help your team or organization better collaborate and coordinate services.