Helping the Helpers

Helping families achieve positive outcomes is demanding  work.

Technology should be  an intelligent partner in that work –
but all too often it only gets in the way.

We help human service organizations think creatively about how technology can support the outcomes their teams are  working so hard to achieve. Then we help plot out the practical steps needed to procure or create solutions that will help them get there.


Finding a Path Together

We are a network of independent consultants who work with human service organizations to conceive, evolve and execute on technology strategies that make a tangible difference in the lives of social work professionals and their clients.

For technology to be truly effective, it must be driven by program and policy goals first and foremost. Just as building codes reflect best practices in architecture and the trades, there are time-tested design principles in the technology world, and it’s important that software products embody them. But ensuring that a solution uses state-of-the-art technology is only one step along the path. 

What matters more is whether the solution is attuned to the unique dynamics and challenges of your organization – by which we mean, primarily, your people and your practice models. Any good technology effort begins with a careful, generous, candid look at the culture of the organization and the needs and desires of the solution’s ultimate users.

This is where we begin.


What We Do

Assess & Analyze

We start by facilitating a conversation aimed at identifying a small set of high-value goals for your coming IT initiative. Then we apply strength-based assessment principles to your organization to identify key assets that will underpin the success of the project, noting challenges and blockers along the way.  

Envision & Plan

Drawing on decades of experience in human services IT, we help you craft an adaptable solution strategy that is responsive to your organization’s situation, aligned with federal requirements, achievable and durable.

If you like, we can help create procurement documents that utilize the Goals, Guideposts and Constraints model developed as part of our child welfare CCWIS work. This model offers an innovative procurement strategy that bypasses the classic, requirements-heavy approach in favor of a fully goals-driven process that puts human service outcomes first. It is the core of the CCWIS Model RFP project, which provides a freely available template for carrying out optimal CCWIS procurements.

  More about the CCWIS Model RFP…

Evaluate & Select

Once you have specific solution offerings in mind, we’re happy to help you evaluate proposals and provide objective, independent feedback on which proposed solutions have the highest chance of meeting the project goals we identified together.


Edward Hamlin


Edward Hamlin’s career in human services technology spans more than thirty years. As a founding partner of Peter Martin Associates (PMA) he was the chief architect of FACTORS/SA, the first off-the-shelf case management system specifically designed for the human services, and HelpWorks, a rules engine optimized for benefit eligibility screening. As PMA’s CEO and CTO, he guided the company from startup venture through to acquisition by a major corporation and a second acquisition by a UK firm. Since then he has served as a technical architect, subject matter expert, marketing professional and proposal developer in a host of settings, working with foundations, nonprofits and for-profit companies across North America.

Alongside his career in technology, Edward is an award-winning author and composer. Visit to learn more about his artistic pursuits.




Jacque Gombach


Jacque Gombach is the Founder and CEO of Captuva, a firm that helps organizations execute winning strategies to capture business in the health and human services market. Her work focuses on the application of technology to improve the delivery of services to citizens. She seeks out innovative solutions that support caseworkers and administrators so they can focus on their mission of serving children and families in need.

Connect with Jacque on LinkedIn at and follow her on Twitter @jacquegombach.




Patricia Rideout, JD


Patricia Rideout, JD supports system improvement as a consultant to the National Council on Crime & Delinquency’s Children’s Research Center and other child welfare organizations. An attorney and system administrator, Pat was the director of Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services in Cleveland from 2011-2015, and has over 30 years of experience in the child welfare field, as a lawyer, national consultant and agency leader. Rideout spent many years with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Child Welfare Strategy Group, as a Senior Fellow supporting system reform throughout the U.S. and leader of the foundation’s Team Decision Making strategy work. She also served as a senior consultant to the Foundation’s groundbreaking Family to Family initiative, and as Project Executive for Casebook with Case Commons, Inc. Pat’s direct service work includes additional executive leadership roles at Cuyahoga County Children & Family Services, at Bellefaire JCB in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and at Lucas County Children Services in Toledo. Her legal career includes work as a Juvenile Court Magistrate in Toledo, and Director of the Guardian Ad Litem Clinic at the University of Toledo College of Law. Rideout is a graduate of Northwestern University and Stanford University Law School.




Contact Us

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