iPads Replace Desktops for Social Workers



A cash-strapped county in Ohio hopes to help social workers become more efficient by equipping them with iPads.  Instead of the hand-written notes many of them now take during house calls while working with at-risk kids, they can save time by typing on the tablet computer.

Dubbed “Operation iPad,” the $300,000 purchase of 187 Apple devices is considered a major upgrade for the staff at Jobs and Family Services in Hamilton County, Ohio.

It’s also a major expense for an agency whose budget was slashed by 45% in the last four years, but easy to see why they’re eager to try it.

Right now, the field workers make four to five visits to parents or caregivers for each case they handle. They come back to the agency’s office and then have to type everything in to a desktop. The pilot program will be tested with just the workers who spend the most time on the road. It’ll also be a test as to how well the devices work with the existing computer infrastructure.

“In an agency hit with severe budget cuts and an upgrade in technology will help them save time along with providing real-time information updates with the goal of helping to protecting at-risk children,” said Greg Hartmann, the Hamilton County Commission President.