The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) is now accepting proposals for the American Association of Health and Human Services Attorneys (AAHHSA) Education Conference, October 17-20, 2021.  The event will be held at the Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square, as a hybrid conference, in downtown Columbus, Ohio. We invite you to participate and share your expertise with our members.

As the only national organization representing state and local agencies charged with administering human service programs, APHSA and AAHHSA have long endorsed transformation and innovation. While significant progress has been made at the federal, state, and local levels, much is still required. Without service transformation, coupled with the innovation which makes transformation possible, the families, children, and adults who benefit from human services will face an uncertain future.

It is our hope that the 2021 AAHHSA Annual Conference will assist health and human service leaders, policy makers, and legal professionals to leverage the transformative possibilities for their organizations and their clients. To that end, we are developing a strong agenda for our members – and invite you to submit a proposal.

The 2021 AAHHSA Annual Conference will provide a hybrid experience of in-person and virtual learning to move us to the next level of learning and collaboration. Providing a hybrid event will allow attendees the option to attend in-person or virtually. We will be recording all content for on-demand learning, post event. All current guidelines relating to COVID-19 will be a part of our conference including, but not limited to, social distancing, mask wearing and other safety measures.  APHSA always puts the health, safety, and well-being of our stakeholders first and foremost in these unique settings.

APHSA is now accepting proposals for the 2021 AAHHSA Annual Conference from state and local agencies, community-based organizations, and private sector organizations who deliver important programs and services through innovative solutions.

Submissions are encouraged in the following areas:

Theme Topic Examples
Child Welfare
Administrative hearings; Confidentiality; Family First Prevention Services Act; Race in the child welfare system; Background check requirements; Reinstatement of parental rights after TPR; Impacts of COVID-19; Fair hearings under CAPTA; Legal challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act/Issues in ICWA compliance; Emerging issues in child welfare legal practice; Religious liberties in relation to state law and foster care; Building a system of prevention services for Families First money; Maximizing 4E through law office management; Impact on child welfare outcomes from local legal cultures/relationships between social workers and legal practitioners and court/judges; Emerging policy issues in child welfare agency legal representation
Medicaid Postpartum funding guidance; Litigation updates; Drug pricing scheme
Of Interest
(e.g., SNAP, TANF, Juvenile Justice)
Compliance; Counting income and different types of currency; Penalty waivers for Work Participation Rate; IEVS requirements

Within these categories, APHSA is interested in proposals that have practical application to advancing legal matters in health and human services for their constituents. Priority will be given to submissions which align with the APHSA Action Plan

The proposal should identify how the following will be addressed in the presentation:
  • The relevance of the topic to one or more of the proposal themes
  • Innovative, evidence-based, best, or promising practices or important foundational content
  • Which program the proposal will highlight (e.g.: Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, Childcare, Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, Child Support)
Selection Process:
The AAHHSA Conference Planning Committee will review all submitted proposals. Submissions of like topics may be asked to combine sessions or reframe them, if applicable. As the event will be presented in a hybrid format, we will consider sessions for both in-person or virtual presentation, pre-recording with live Q&A and panelists presenting both in-person and virtually. Each proposal is evaluated for relevancy and consistency with the goals and strategic focuses of the association and the conference theme using the following criteria:
  • Does the topic align with one or more of the categories listed in the call for proposals?
  • Do the proposed methods allow for learner interaction and engagement? Review the session types here.
  • Does the proposal content reflect important foundational content or innovative, evidence-based, best, or promising practices that advance human services policy priorities?
  • Does the proposal content have a legal application?
  • Does the presenter’s bio and previous experience in conference presentations/training delivery support their expertise in the proposal topic/training delivery?
  • Submissions from private, for-profit businesses must include either non-profit partners or public-sector partners.

Workshop descriptions and biographies will be used in official conference materials which includes the online agenda and conference bot. All material is subject to editing for corrections and consistency without notification to the presenter. A submission is not a guarantee to present until an approval letter is received from the APHSA Conference Team.
Submission Guidelines and Deliverable Schedule
Please be sure to follow the instructions throughout the submission process carefully.  As part of your submission, you are required to include a short abstract (no more than 350 words) of the session along with the proposed names and organizations of any presenters.  Proposals are due by Wednesday, June 30, 2021. The guidelines and deliverable schedule can be accessed here.

Deliverable Schedule

Call for Submissions   June 1 – 30, 2021
Review of Submissions Completed   by July 14, 2021
Notification to Accepted Submissions   by July 23, 2021
Final Presentation Description Due   July 30, 2021
Registration Due   September 24, 2021
Final PowerPoint Due   September 24, 2021

Presentation descriptions and biographies will be used in official conference materials, including the conference website, marketing messages and the conference bot. All material is subject to editing without notification to the presenter.
Expectations for Presenters
The AAHHSA Conference is a collegial event. All presenters are required to register for the conference.  Please note: Due to budgetary constraints, APHSA expects all presenters to pay a registration fee to attend the conference. At the current time, there is no budget to assist with state or local agency travel. No travel or registration assistance is provided to any non-profit or for-profit organization presenting at the conference.