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Call for Proposals

Important Deliverable Dates
CFP Opens: Monday, February 12, 2024
CFP Closes: Friday, March 22, 2024
Notification of Acceptance by Wednesday, May 8, 2024


At the annual ISM + PHSA Education Conference & Expo produced by the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), legal and technology leaders from state, county, and federal human services agencies join industry professionals in learning about the latest technology and legal trends. The ISM + PHSA conference is jointly hosted by two APHSA affinity groups focused on the technology and legal components of government human services: the IT Solutions Management for Human Services (ISM) Affinity Group and the Public Human Services Attorneys (PHSA) Affinity Group.

This conference showcases innovative approaches to the design and delivery of state, county, and city human services at the intersection of technology, legal compliance, policy, and practice. There is also a focus on important legal topics in the larger realm of human services, with the ability for attendees to obtain all their annual continuing legal education units (CLE), including ethics. This conference offers unparalleled opportunities for learning, peer networking, experiencing hands-on demonstrations of solutions, and connecting with a wide array of committed partners and organizations, all working toward a shared vision: Thriving Communities Built on Human Potential.


2024 Tracks

The 2024 ISM+PHSA Education Planning Committee seeks proposals and presentations relevant to current topics and priorities across the broad human services sector.


The content for this conference will be organized around four tracks:

  1. Innovative Technology

    Engage with the latest technological innovations in the realm of human services. This track explores the world of emergent and disruptive technologies that are revolutionizing the design and delivery of state, county, and city human services. Presentations within this track will spotlight cutting-edge advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), data sharing and analytics, cloud services, cybersecurity, and more. Discover how these technologies are not only enhancing but also reimagining human services to better meet the evolving needs of our society.

  2. People-Powered Design

    This track shines a spotlight on co-designed initiatives for improving human services that place the community at the heart of the design process. Explore technology solutions that emerge from human-centered design processes. Learn how the collective wisdom of communities and individuals is driving the transformation of human services, making them more inclusive, responsive, and effective.

  3. Cross-Systems Alignment

    Explore the power of collaboration and aligned service delivery in the human services sector. This track is dedicated to exploring systems interoperability and operational change management together with promising cross-agency, cross-system, and cross-sector partnerships that break down silos. Learn how these collaborations work towards cohesive government service delivery to those in need, reducing administrative burden at all levels. Join us in fostering a unified approach to human services.

  4. Human Services Law & Policy

    Dive into the world of legal, policy, and ethical considerations within the realm of human services. This track explores the complex landscape of legal and regulatory frameworks governing the delivery of essential services across all human services sectors, including Medicaid, child welfare, mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, substance use, public health, and corrections. Gain insights into the intersection of human services technology, law, and justice and how these elements intersect to create equitable and accessible systems. Examine the challenges and opportunities in ensuring that human services are just, fair, and inclusive.

Evaluation Criteria

APHSA and our members value the experiences and voices of people who are directly and personally impacted by social issue(s), community challenge(s), and/or system issues. We believe that human services must be human-centered and community-driven. We invite and encourage presentations to include presenters who bring direct, lived experience with human services or find ways to inform the content of the presentation with the perspectives of those directly affected by the system.


Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Proposed topic aligns with one or more of the tracks.

  2. Proposed presentation has clear objectives and offers concrete takeaways for attendees to use in their day-to-day work.

  3. Proposed topic is of significant interest and relevance to our attendees.

  4. Proposal includes elements that explore equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB), structural inequities, and/or related issues.

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