Caseworks Advances Child Support Officer & Attorney Collaboration
Otter Tail County's switch from paper to digital document & process management has optimized their team's time and expedited court readiness.Pushing Paper
Like so many counties across the nation, Otter Tail, Minnesota used a paper document system. It had facilitated community care for as long as they could remember, and they were comfortable and familiar with the processes. Their team of Child Support Officers worked tirelessly to ensure that the correct documents were printed, mailed, and signed to meet court dates. When hearings were scheduled, they packed up the casefiles for delivery to attorneys at the courthouse across town.
But, as their caseloads increased, the paperwork demands overwhelmed their staff. They knew that continuing with tedious and time consuming paper documents was unsustainable, and relying on interoffice mail for casefile reviews and signatures from the courthouse across town was creating gaps in care for their 2100+ clients.
Digital Solutions set Otter Tail up for success during and after COVID
In order to meet the growing case load demands and address recruitment and retention hurdles, Otter Tail adopted CaseWorks Child Support Edition in 2016. NCT worked with their county to review and establish digital business processes that worked well for their team and for their clients.
As a result, their county saw an immediate increase in efficiency and cost savings. Their budget no longer needed to include hundreds of reams of paper, postage for sending documents out for client signatures, or hourly wages for stuffing envelopes and sorting mail. Caseworkers were able to digitally tag documents within cases for court hearings, immediately share documents for attorney review, and request client eSignatures without the weeks-long lag time or postage costs of paper mail. Monies and manpower were able to be redistributed to serve more clients in their community.
When COVID crippled many HHS departments still working exclusively in paper, Otter Tail was equipped to continue serving their community without missing a beat. As the Otter Tail team moved to remote work, Case Officers were able to securely accrue, edit, and share case file documents with their team members and with their clients' attorneys using CaseWorks. As COVID escalated and their county made the decision to move all court hearings to zoom, Otter Tail's Child Support team pivoted seamlessly. CaseWorks provided the efficiencies, organization, and collaboration necessary to weather the storm. And with no plan to return to in-person court hearings, Otter Tail relies on CaseWorks to continue serving their clients with excellence.
County attorneys have full access to casefiles for digital review and court hearings
Clients and attorneys can digitally sign forms for immediate turn-around
Retention and Recruitment
Increased hiring base from broader geography, as officers are able to work remotely
Files are digitally tagged, tabbed, and shared across teams and units