The Johnston County Department of Social Services in Smithfield has received permission to purchase new computer software to help improve the efficiency of delivering state and federally mandated services to citizens.
The new Northwoods Traverse software supports welfare and adult services by streamline services. In doing so, it provides help to staff who have high caseloads and are dealing with space limitation or remote working during COVID.
The software will cost $345,000 with a yearly subscription fee of $154,000 for each of the next 5 years. The State of North Carolina will reimburse Johnston County 60 percent of the purchase cost and yearly subscription.
Johnston County DSS Director Scott Sabatino said money is included in the current social services budget to cover the cost. Mr. Sabatino said the State may mandate this system in all 100 counties next year. If so, they would not reimburse 60 percent of the cost. Presently, the software is being used in 43 of the 100 counties in North Carolina.
In a letter, Social Services Board Chair Eason Keeney told commissioners, “This software will enable social work staff to provide effective services for the community both in the office and working from home. Mr. Sabatino has researched, received and shared several benefits and the positive feedback received from other counties who have used the system for several months with our board.”
“The current quote is based on the population documents in the 2010 census and will most likely increase significantly once the 2020 census data is released,” Keeney stated.
Commissioners voted 7-to-0 to approve the purchase.