New app saves social workers time so they can focus on victims - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

New app saves social workers time so they can focus on victims


MADISON (WKOW)-- Over the last two years Dane County Child Protection Services has seen a 25% increase in child and sexual abuse cases.

"With the increase in cases that they have to respond to, the amount of paperwork they have to complete is pretty overwhelming as well," Dane County Child Protection Services Manager Julie Ahnen says.

A new iPad app and interactive program is hoping to change that by bringing the profession into the digital age.

"Having the mobile devices is going to allow them to capture a lot of that documentation out in the field or in between appointments," Ahnen says.

The agency is one of three in the nation that are testing out the CoPilot program for social workers. Not only will the new program save social workers time, but it will allow them to spend more face to face time with the people they're working with.

"They're ability to spend more quality time with families out in the field has decreased so we're hoping we can bring that balance back," Ahnen says.

The app also allows social workers to get more interactive with children so they can feel more comfortable sharing the kind of abuse they've experienced. Professionals can manage hundreds of forms, pictures, videos and victim interviews in one place.

Social workers say it can save them anywhere from thirty minutes a week to an hour or two each day. Dane County Child Protection Services hopes to have their first group of social workers fully trained and ready to use the app in the field by the end of January.


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