AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

Traverse in Action: See the Whole Picture of Case History

The best predictor of future safety is a thorough understanding of the past. Traverse, a protective services case discovery platform from the AWS Public Sector Partner Program member Northwoods, uncovers dark data and uses it to present a comprehensive case story.

It allows child and adult protective services agencies to leverage the power of big data and the information they already have to make well informed, more confident decisions. The tool helps to analyze years of information and volumes of case records to build connections that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Northwoods launched Traverse earlier this year to be able to take advantage of this big data and provide protective services agencies insight into information and data they’ve never had before. Using natural language processing and text analytics tools, these empower workers to learn about key topics, people, and events in a case to make informed decisions about safety. Because it analyzes information that workers are already collecting, there is no additional work required.

Traverse is all-in on AWS, using services such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), and Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS).

In order to store and handle sensitive data, Traverse uses the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256) algorithm to encrypt all data at rest and utilizes TLS 1.2 to secure all data in transit. Cloud resources are provisioned in a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) network, giving customers a logically isolated section in the cloud.

From foster care to CPS investigations to transportation, Traverse is used by protective services agencies to help caseworkers and social workers quickly understand major topics that impact their cases, such as domestic violence or substance abuse. Because Traverse also surfaces people connected to the case, workers are better able to identify placement options or positive supports for vulnerable children or adults. Traverse not only gives workers the information they need to make the best decisions possible to protect safety, it improves productivity because finding critical information is possible in minutes, versus hours or even days, depending on the complexity of the case.

 “Often times we have to go back and look at history before we make a decision. The ability to navigate through a case using the search function is really important because if there’s information to find, Traverse narrows it down without having to read everything. That’s a huge timesaver and a huge benefit to the agency because we’re able to use our time very effectively,” said Jacob Meetze, Investigation and Assessment Social Worker, Beaufort County Department of Social Services, NC. Read more user stories here.

Watch this On Demand Webinar from the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) and Northwoods to learn how Fairfield County Child and Adult Protective Services is embracing “dark data” to make informed, confident safety decisions.

In addition to Traverse, Northwoods also offers document management solutions (DMS) for human services agencies that are used in 12 states and one territory, serving over 36 million people. For agencies that are cloud-based, information that previously would be thousands of pages long in a large printed case file is now stored electronically in AWS. Caseworkers and social workers can easily store and retrieve documents, complete forms, and capture more accurate and timely case notes and narratives to improve service delivery, compliance, and audit-readiness. Field-based social workers use a mobile app in disconnected mode and can also capture high-resolution, color images of clients and living conditions.

Learn more about how Health and Human services (HHS) agencies at the state and local government level are leveraging the AWS Cloud for initiatives ranging from the optimization of everyday administrative tasks to delivering a more personalized digital experience for their citizens.