Tracking Tribal TANF Outcomes in RiteTrack Webinar Recording Available

Our recent webinar demonstrating ways RiteTrack tracks and reports on TANF outcomes was very popular. If you missed it, a now available as a recording, click here to access. 

During this short but information filled session we explored how RiteTrack provides insight on

  • Education goals
  • Employment goals
  • Changes in employment and income
  • Pregnancy statistics
  • One- and two-parent households

Access to the recording is free, and if you would like to find out how RiteTrack can improve your service delivery and outcome tracking please contact Handel Information Technologies for further information or to schedule a discussion or personal online demonstration.

Handel at 20 -Technology Evolution Over the Past 2 Decades

Note: This is one in a series of stories written at the 20th anniversary of Handel Information Technologies.

In the history of mankind, 20 years is merely a blink of an eye. In the history of information technology, 20 years represents an eternity. As Handel is turning 20 I find myself in a reflective mood. Going back to July 1997, the month Handel was incorporated, the world was in many ways not that different from what it is today. Yet, when it comes to technology, it would be difficult for a human being time-traveling from 1997 to 2017 to recognize our world today.

Here are a few examples of some technologies we take for granted today that were non-existent in 1997:
  • Always-on Internet access in all but the most rural areas
  • Super computers that you can carry in your pockets (which among other things also happens be a phone, a camera, a video conferencing system, and a music player)
  • Instant access to all information ever created including movies, TV shows, music, and books.
  • Ability to broadcast yourself to the world at the click of a button
  • The ability to buy anything from your phone and have it show up at your door the next day

These are but a few of the things we take for granted today that would have been foreign to a human being, ca. 1997. Oh, did I mention self-driving cars?

In the mid- to late 1990s I remember technology leaders of the era (including Bill Gates who later admitted he and Microsoft were late to recognize the significance of the Internet) predicting how the Internet would change how we live. I don’t think most of us from that era could have predicted where we would be today. It wasn’t just the Internet that enabled the radical transformation we experience today. It was a combination of several factors. Continuously faster and cheaper processing power making computing power increasingly more affordable. The evolution of extremely compact computers moving from the desktop into our pockets. The evolution of wireless networks allowing you to be connected from anywhere. The development of social networking, enabling information sharing in a completely different ways than we have seen before. Software moving from desktop to the web.

In the late 1990s, before most people had broadband internet and little government data were available online, we published annual property assessment databases on CD ROMs which made it much easier for realtors to look up  property values. 

The result is that the majority of human beings in the industrialized world now owns a smartphone and is always connected to the Internet. Compare this to 1997 when according to the U.S. Census,  36% of US housholds owned a computer and 18% were connected to the Internet. Of note, 1997 appears to be the first year the Census Bureau measured the latter statistic. Thinking back to the summer of 1997, I was starting Handel in my basement, my wife and I owned one desktop computer and a laptop. We accessed the Internet with a dial-up modem, which gave us just enough speed to read news, check e-mail, and check mostly text-based websites. This week I installed a new wireless network in my house. I was surprised when I counted the number of unique IP addresses in my home. As mentioned, in 1997 I had two computers in my house. Apparently, our family now has 28 electronic devices each with a unique IP address. That may seem high, but when you think about a) our family has grown to include 3 more individuals that it had in ’97, each individual has their own computer, tablet, and phone, there are devices like printers and scanners that connect wirelessly, there are other devices like Amazon Echo’s, Apple TVs, Raspberry Pies, Kindles, media players. etc. Forward this another 10 years and I believe every electronic device in our home from lightbulbs, thermostats, applicances, vehicles, to other devices yet to be invented, will all be connected to the web.

This transformation that we have seen in the past 20 years I would argue is as revolutionary as when humans developed the first language some 100,000 years and when Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1440. What distinguishes us humans from other mammals is the way we can communicate with each other and thereby share knowledge. Each new human being born, inherits all this knowledge from all humans that lived before. The changes we have seen these past 20 years simply accelerates this information sharing to a new level.

What has Handel’s impact been for our customers and our industry over these past 20 years? Starting out, we were really just a consulting company, developing custom solutions wherever we could find work. It wasn’t until 2001 that we focused on making RiteTrack and government social services our primary focus. In 2008 we developed the first web-based version of RiteTrack and the next year we started experimenting with web-hosting. Today, the vast majority of our clients are on a web version of RiteTrack, and about 50% is being hosted in our data center. We expect to continue to see our clients moving their data into cloud infrastructure. While slower to change than consumers and business clients, government is recognizing the efficiencies gained from web-based technologies in a hosted environment. While government resources are often limited, demands for services continues to grow. As such, our customers have to find ways to do more with less. We believe that one of the keys to doing less with more is by more intelligent deployment of technical solutions. RiteTrack is well positioned to help our clients and future customers in accomplishing this goal. Ultimately, our job is to give our customers better tools so that they can provide better services to the clients that they serve. Regardless of technology evolution, RiteTrack is ultimately about helping those in need and that is what I expect we will still do 20 years from now.

Kitsap County Juvenile and Family Court Services Goes Live on New RiteTrack Case Management System

RiteTrackKitsap County Juvenile Family and Court Services went live on a RiteTrack system in January 1, 2017. This implementation represents the culmination of years of work and planning to create a system that spans data from three areas: juvenile detention, youth offenders, and non-offenders.

Juvenile detention cases encompass sentenced youth or youth brought in by law enforcement. Youth offender cases cover drug courts and diversion efforts while non-offender cases deal with children in need of services (CHINS), at-risk youth (ARY), child protective services (CPS), and truancies. With all of this juvenile case management information centralized, the ease that staff can provide services to has been bolstered.

The County signed a contract with Handel in April of 2016 and many of the staff worked diligently on defining the scope and working closely with the designated Project Manager to outline processes to incorporate into the system. Project Manager Ben McKay said “our success is based on our partners, and the dedication from Kitsap’s team helped ensure the successful implementation of this project.”

Kitsap County Juvenile Family and Court Services uses RiteTrack’s standard functionality and also configured the system to meet specific needs and create specialized reports. One of the most valuable reports is the juvenile year-over-year comparison that aggregates data from the system including the length of stay and demographics to provide a big picture of trending changes and generates data to submit to the state of Washington for reporting purposes.

In order to recognize the hard work and diligence that went into a successful project of this scope, the County held a celebration February 16, 2017. (Read our blog about it here) We’re so pleased to have developed a strong, working relationship with the leadership and staff at Kitsap County Juvenile Family and Court Services.

Kitsap County’s Juvenile Department/Superior Court is committed to providing innovative, comprehensive, and effective services to youth, families, schools and the community within a quality work environment, by professional, caring staff.

Handel creates RiteTrack, a web-based, centralized database, information management software that is used by juvenile justice agencies throughout the country. It provides the primary means for caseworkers, administrators and other professionals to manage their clients and caseloads and provides reliable reporting to generate reliable data.

Handel has Opening for Junior Software Developer

Handel has an opening for a Junior Software Developer. Click here for more details: http://www.handelit.com/about/job-openings/junior-software-engineer/

Happy Holidays from Handel IT

It is again that time of the year when I look back and reflect on the year that was. First and foremost, I want to thank those of you we have worked with in 2016 and the many of you who are entertaining the idea of implementing RiteTrack in your juvenile, TANF, child welfare, or other social services program in the year to come. We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with you and we want to thank you for working with us and even more importantly I want to thank you for the difference you are making in the lives of the people that you help. I sleep well at night knowing that RiteTrack is a playing part in making sure hundreds of thousands of people are getting the best services that they can get for their needs.


It has been a tumultuous year in our country and in the world. The Presidential Election here in the U.S. certainly was different than any other election we have seen in recent history. Globally, hardly a day passes where we don’t read about another terror attack. For most of us, these unimaginable acts of hate are beyond comprehension.  While we are not entirely free of terror here on US ground, I do believe we live in a very safe country. Of course, from my perspective in Laramie, Wyoming, the least populous state in the union, my viewpoint may be just a bit biased. As somebody who grew up in Norway, another country often ranked high for quality of life and other measures, I will argue that the United States is still one of the greatest countries in the world. This is still the land of opportunity. It is a land where we welcome ideas and support those who have ideas. With the perspective of almost 30 years in this country it is interesting to think that coming here as foreigner in 1988 and barely spoke English, only 9 years later, I had finished two degrees, worked for another entrepreneurial startup, and then started Handel IT in 1997. I can think of many other places in our world where such a series of events simply would not be able to unfold.  We still continue to deal with a large number of challenges on our home front such as growing income inequality, a broken health care system, rising drug problems, slipping rankings on education, and increasing terrorist threats. I still believe when taken as a whole, our nation offers perhaps one of the best frameworks for individuals to succeed. We continue to rank high nationally in quality of life rankings, such as the one published by Numbeo https://www.numbeo.com/quality-of-life/rankings_by_country.jsp.


Looking at all the social services programs that we work with nationally, I remain in awe of the services that our clients provide to the people that they serve. In 2016 we have added several new customers, especially in the area of Tribal TANF (temporary assistance for needy families). You have probably heard me joke before that Rocket Science has nothing on TANF when it comes to complexity. In order to run a successful TANF program a Tribe (or a State for that matter) has to keep track of thousands of data points on each family that they serve. Calculating eligibility and keeping track of funding, measuring outcomes, and making sure allocations are being made according to all rules, are but a few of the tasks that a modern TANF program has to contend with. Doing so without a system like RiteTrack would be near impossible. It is such an honor for us to work with all these programs across the nation. One thing is resting assured that we are helping our customers with these very complex tasks. Even more important though are the services that our clients are providing to the families and individuals that they serve. More so than anything else, this is what I am the most proud of when it comes to Handel’s accomplishments. We want to thank you all for working with us in 2016. We are looking forward to continuing working with you and to add new customers to the RiteTrack family in 2017. Next year we will also be celebrating our 20th anniversary. Time flies when you are having fun. Until then I want to wish you the Happiest of Holidays and a Happy New Year!

-Even

Handel VP Hosts Webcast via NICWA about Improving Service Delivery with Software

Innovative Examples from Indian Country– Improving Service Delivery using Software and Technology, Handel Information Technologies software. The second in our “Technology Tools Webinar Series!”

In this, the second of our “Technology Tools Webinar Series,” we are excited to have Casey Bader, Vice President of Handel Information Technologies, Inc., share his knowledge about innovative ways tribes are using software and technology to engage with clients, integrate programs, improve service delivery, and secure funding. Some of these initiatives have received national recognition for innovative approaches to addressing community needs.

Casey and Handel Information Technologies, long time NICWA supporters, have presented numerous times at NICWA’s annual conference and have a wealth of experience in Indian Country. We are happy to have the opportunity to have them present to our NICWA members.

Casey has spent over 15 years designing and implementing innovative software solutions with RiteTrack for social service programs and is passionate about finding ways technology can improve service delivery and outcomes in Indian Country. His program focuses include Indian Child Welfare, Family Services, Tribal TANF, Employment and Training, Tribal Court and Treatment programs. Casey has a degree in Social Science with a minor in Sociology from the University of Wyoming.

Handel Relay Team Completes the 2016 Wild West Relay

Under the leadership of Casey Bader, employees from Handel, augmented by friends and family, formed another 12 person running team. Team Wyoming Endorfiends ran the 200 miles from Fort Collins, via Wyoming, to Steamboat, Colorado. Starting at 5:20 AM the morning of Friday, August 5th, the team finished in Steamboat about 32 hours later on Saturday afternoon.

This is the 6th time since we first did this in 2006 that Handel has formed a relay team. I find it to be a truly rewarding experience in so many ways, physically, beautiful scenery, social, and team building. Here is a video commemorating this year’s event.