Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2024 by Team Northwoods

Can't Miss Conferences for Human Services in 2024

New year, new opportunities!

Since 2018, this blog post has been a go-to resource for readers looking for information about the best industry conferences to keep up to date on key issues, trends, and topics impacting human services. The list represents events that not only have amazing programming and speakers, but also build in time for attendees to network, share ideas, and discuss how they're addressing their latest opportunities and challenges.

ISM-for-2024-Conference-PreviewKeep reading below for some details on national conferences or visit local/state-specific conference websites to learn more about each of those. We’ll continue to update this list throughout the year as new details and opportunities become available. 

National Conferences

  1. NCSEA Policy Forum - Washington, D.C. (February 1-3)
  2. CWLA National Conference - Washington, D.C. (April 17-19)
  3. APHSA's National Health and Human Services Summit - Arlington, VA (June 9-12)
  4. NASW National Conference - Washington, D.C. (June 19-22)
  5. HSFo Annual Conference (TBD)
  6. MESC Conference - Louisville, KY (August 12-15)
  7. APHSA's Economic Mobility and Well-Being Conference - Portland, OR (August 25-28)
  8. APHSA's ISM Conference - Aurora, CO (October 6-9)


Local/State Conferences




New York Public Welfare Association (NYPWA) Conference

Winter: January 23-26
Summer: TBD (likely July)

Winter: Albany, NY
Summer: Saratoga Springs, NY
Wisconsin County Human Service Association (WCHSA) Spring Conference April 24-25 Wausau, WI
Virginia League of Social Services Executives (VLSSE) Spring Conference May 8-10 Williamsburg, VA
Ohio Job and Family Services Directors' Association (OJFSDA) Annual Training Conference May 9-10 Columbus, OH
Minnesota Counties Computer Cooperative (MnCCC) Annual Conference June 3-6 Alexandria, MN
North Carolina Association of County Directors of Social Services (NCACDSS) 2023 Social Services Institute July 31-August 2 Hickory, NC
Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO) Annual Conference September 9-11 Columbus, OH
Child Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) Annual Conference October 9-11 San Diego, CA

National Child Support Engagement Association (NCSEA) Policy Forum

  • Who? Child support and human services professionals, agencies, and private sector partners
  • What? Sessions in 2024 will explore how child support intersects with other human services programs and community-based organizations, engaging parents, whole family approaches to child support, and tribal economic breakthroughs.
  • When? February 1-3
  • Where? Washington, D.C.
  • Why? Over 30 states are actively modernizing their child support systems to serve children and parents more efficiently. We're excited to hear more about how the program continues to evolve and help move others forward in the process.
  • Related links: Cleveland County Digitizes Case Files to Improve Performance and Mobility in Court
  • Learn more: Visit NCSEA's Policy Forum website for the 2024 schedule and additional details

Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) Conference


American Public Human Services Association's (APHSA) National Health and Human Services Summit

  • Who? Human services agency directors, program administrators, and professionals
  • What? Showcases cutting-edge practices and projects from states and counties across the nation focusing on workforce capacity, community and human-centered design strategies, process innovation, inclusivity and belonging, and other important industry topics.
  • When? June 9-12
  • Where? Arlington, VA
  • Why? Northwoodians who attend this summit always come back with a ton of insight on how policy changes and industry trends will affect our customers. We look forward to this conference every yearand it's been on this list since its inception! 
  • Related links: Creating a Sustainable Workforce: 3 Keys to Support Human Services Heroes
  • Learn more: Visit APHSA's NHHS Summit page for more details as they become available

National Association of Social Workers' (NASW) National Conference

  • Who? Social workers, social work thought leaders, and like-minded professionals
  • What? Opportunities in professional development, continuing education, networking, and thought-provoking conversations tackling the most pressing issues facing the social work profession across the world.
  • When? June 19-22
  • Where? Washington, D.C.
  • Why? We have several licensed social workers on staff who attend this conference every year for their continuing education. They also help us keep a pulse on the key issues impacting social workers so that we can work to identify creative ways to solve them.
  • Related links: A Deep Dive into Social Work Burnout (and What Your Human Services Agency Can Do About It)
  • Learn more: More information will be posted on the NASW Conferences page as it becomes available

National Association of State Human Services Finance Officers Organization (HSFo) Annual Conference

  • Who? State and local finance professionals; federal officials and policy-makers
  • What? Exchanging ideas, learning from each other's successes, and blending best practices related to changes in federal and state policies and regulations.
  • When? TBD (usually mid- to late August)
  • Where? TBD
  • Why? Amy Drapcho, our fiscal advocate, helps human services agencies of all sizes navigate the complexities of budgeting, planning, and all things finance. Amy attends HSFO to learn about new funding and grant opportunities that agencies can use to support their technology modernization and workforce capacity initiatives.
  • Related link: HSFO Highlights: All Things Finance and Funding in Human Services
  • Learn more: Visit HSFo's website for additional information as it becomes available

Medicaid Enterprise Systems Community (MESC) Conference

  • Who? Public and private sector Medicaid IT professionals and thought leaders
  • What? Sharing ideas and information related to Medicaid systems and initiatives, as well as policies affected by those systems.
  • When? August 12-15
  • Where? Louisville, KY
  • Why? Millions of individuals are losing Medicaid benefits as states and counties continue to manage the ripple effects of the unwinding of the COVID-19 public health emergency. We know it's not for lack of effort, and we hope to hear some examples and best practices from agencies that have had success keeping their constituents engaged and supported. This conference also presents an opportunity to expand our knowledge around enterprise systems, integrated eligibility, and statewide modernization efforts.
  • Related link: Putting the "Human" Back in Human Services Through Robotic Process Automation
  • Learn more: Visit the MESC Conference website to learn more

APHSA's Economic Mobility and Well-Being Conference

  • Who? HHS and economic assistance leaders, policymakers, and researchers
  • What? Brings together members from the American Association of SNAP Directors (AASD), the National Association for Program Information and Performance Measurement (NAPIPM), and the National Association of State TANF Administrators (NASTA) to elevate best practices and collaborate to create a modern, responsive HHS system.
  • When? August 25-28
  • Where? Portland, OR
  • Why? Technology plays a critical role in ensuring every client can continue to access the resources they need to maintain their well-being. This conference is another great opportunity to learn more about the strategies and tools that states and agencies are putting in place to navigate the unwinding, not just in Medicaid but across all benefits and eligibility programs.
  • Related links: Advancing Economic Mobility and Well-Being Ahead of the Unwinding; Tech for Success: Aligning and Supporting the Workforce with Modern Technology
  • Learn more: Visit APHSA's EMWB Conference page for more details as they become available

APHSA’s IT Solutions Management (ISM) for Human Services

What other conferences are on your radar this year? Let us know!


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