Athena Software Blog
Human Services in North America Facing Demographic Crunch
Posted by Dana Fox on Feb. 18, 2016

The Boomers are getting older. Funding is tight and everyone wants to know if human services agencies are making a difference. Human services in North America is about to get rocked by the coming demographic crunch. Here are four catalysts of change:

Human Services - A New Coalition

Communities have for too long leaned on two support systems that work independently.

People with mental health issues go to a hospital for treatment and get released. Social service agencies pick up where the institution left off.

The two organizations don’t connect and the client ends up in hospital again two weeks later.

And so the cycle repeats.

Future budgets demand a new ecosystem that blends the best of social service agencies and the healthcare system in a coalition that wraps itself around the individual to break the cycle and deliver positive outcomes.

In my role as Director of Global Business Development at Athena Software, I have talked to over 3,500 human service organizations around the world.

The number of conversations between health and social service organizations that want to co-operate and focus on the individual is increasing, especially when the state and federal incentives encourage better service and reduced cost.

The shift toward a client-centric model may take several steps over a period of time.

Be bold.

Take the first step and start the conversation with your stakeholders.

Change - Who's Going To Pay For All This?

Human services will become more client-centric as funding becomes more tied to outcomes.

Pay-for-success models align themselves with social service and health organizations that demonstrate positive outcomes.

Funders need to ask good questions to gather a wider scope of data that lends itself to understanding what is working and what is not.

This preventive approach underscores the opportunity to reduce costs by focusing on the problem.

Social financing and existing funds will find their way to the provider with a solution that delivers results.

Predictive Analytics - New Answers to Old Problems

Human services software like Penelope has the capacity to collect unlimited data.

Traditional human services organizations do not have the capacity to analyze the data.

Start building your data set by asking the right questions.

Work with case management software that has the flexibility to create and change questions in real time.

Unlock the power of a database that can scale as you add clients and programs together under the new coalition.

Big data begins to share answers to questions you haven’t asked yet.

Understand the problem early and develop preventive interventions that ultimately save you money.

Innovation From The Outside

Human services organizations are facing more clients, less staff, reduced budgets and more evidence where 'try harder' won’t bridge the gap.

Incremental innovation is required and not all the ideas are coming from the traditional sources.

A robust, integrated case management software system with flexible data collection and reporting options is a great place to start.

Contact us to learn more about how Penelope case management software can help your health or social services agency prepare for the future today.

Contact Us