COVID-19 effects have heightened demand on social services and programs like never before. Meanwhile operations in organizations across the nonprofit and public sectors have been disrupted and decentralized due to lockdown. Now, when coming back to local offices or recovering operations with splitted up teams, it gets even more actual to address COVID-19 risks by limiting face-to-face interactions between local service agents and clients thanks to making it possible to request social services online. Finally, it becomes crucial to make sure that each social services request goes through a rigorous approval process quickly in order to support and serve properly the people who rely on your services, while keeping compliant with regulations.
Social service approval requests pass through a series of checkpoints, which should be conducted in accordance with specific approval policy established within the organization. It is common when a bulk of crucial documentation is to be completed at every stage of the approval process and further service delivery. This process is frequently paper-based, managed manually and tends to be heavy, bloated and slow. Unfortunately, in the situation of limited face-to-face contact the process becomes even heavier and establishments face even more manual error and lapses, situations when social service requests get lost under a mound of paperwork. Even more, during a pandemic period, social service requests frequently get stuck on its way due to unclear allocation of responsibilities between engaged people in ever changing working environments. As a result, social service approval workflow becomes a veritable nightmare and even when the team makes its best effort to ensure that all clients are receiving the required services and that documentation is complete timely, an out-of-date social service approval process can tangibly slow things down and bring negative impact on your impact and increase risk of noncompliance. In order to avoid the risks mentioned above, it is likely to make sure that your social services approval workflow is accurate, reliable and effective.
We believe you have an established Social Services Approval Guideline or Policy in your organization and it clearly sets responsibilities, directs the staff to complete a risk assessment and further request processing according to the risk score, sets requirements for all the necessary documentation. When improving the social services approval workflow it might be useful to start from making sure that all the changes, like splitting up the team, get properly reflected in the internal policies, on a continuous basis. Automated policy change and approval workflow might help a lot.
Once you’ve updated your policy, be sure to make it an integral part of the live approval process. Social services approval workflow automation helps a lot with ensuring that your policies really work for your organization.The automated social services approval process usually starts when a client submits a request via online form. The form reflects all the request details, from name and type of requesting organization to amount of funding requested, number of individuals expected to serve through this funding, expected outcomes and a breakdown of estimated project costs. Once the request is submitted, workflow software automatically defines the organization type, vulnerable group for the project, requested funding amount and routes the request to persons authorized to approve it. Depending on the pre-set criteria, the client can be automatically enrolled in a subsequent workflow to drive service delivery immediately or an approval workflow is triggered. The social services approval process is unique in every establishment, but it usually starts from a Risk Assessment step. If the risk score is lower than, for example, 5, the request is enrolled in a pretty short approval workflow. If the risk score is greater than 5, the staff is automatically directed to complete an intensive risk assessment and then the request is routed to a number of approvers.
So, a workflow can be triggered in various ways and staff follows the workflow step-by-step to ensure that each client receives all required services. Even more, every team member gets notified of a new workflow task for completion and the system automatically checks off each step as it is completed for all the necessary data and documents.Besides, every involved individual gets notification about new requests and their further statuses. The benefits of an electronic social services approval process may include quicker approval cycle, reduced human error, approval workflow transparency, on-demand reports, and accelerated impact and safeguarded regulatory compliance.
Comindware offers workflow automation software with the custom template of social services approval process and funding request form. The template created by Comindware experts is ready-to-use and pre-adjusted to your operations — use it for a quick start and correct both workflow and form according to your ever changing needs with drag’n’drop simplicity. Even more, you can easily integrate your paperless social services approval workflow with your accounting system or another software in use and ensure smooth data exchange.
Example of an approval workflow — custom workflow will be designed according to your needs
Example of a submission form — custom form will be designed according to your needs