2020 THEMES


The editorial themes for the 2020 Policy & Practice issues are rooted in our mission to advance the well-being of all people by influencing modern approaches to sound policy, building the capacity of public agencies to enable healthy families and communities, and connecting leaders to accelerate learning and generate practical solutions together. In addition to highlighting topics discussed below, we also seek to address the root causes of racial disparities by including a special feature article in each issue that showcases effective application of a race equity lens to promote social and economic mobility and health and well-being for all people.

Policy & Practice is a member benefit. To access past issues, please login. If you are interested in receiving or contributing to any upcoming issues, please contact the editor, Jessica Garon.

To continue the shared learning of APHSA members and partners in our collective journey to build well-being from the ground up, the 2020 themes focus on the following:

February — Shifting Mindsets: Leading the Way to H/HS Transformation.

This issue is focused on how H/HS leaders across the nation are guiding and pacing the field through both the discomfort and opportunities of transformational change. Today, leaders are shifting mindsets and orienting their workforce to be able to engage more authentically with families through the lens of the Human Services Value Curve and orientations like social determinants of health and well-being and whole family approaches. Articles should showcase these, and other ways individuals are leading in times of rapid change and uncertainty. We also seek content highlighting the development of leaders at all levels of an organization and the role the workforce plays in unlocking the potential of people and communities.
Submission Deadline: January 10

April — Moving Beyond Stability: Achieving Social and Economic Mobility.
This issue will focus on how we can orient health and human services in a person-centered way that goes below the surface to not only address the presenting symptom or challenge but move toward addressing underlying causes of economic insecurity so that families can thrive. We are seeking content exploring solutions and efforts both on the integrative (family root cause/capacity building) level as well as on the generative (structural/environmental change) level. Potential article topics include post-service delivery models; how to define, quantify, and measure social and economic mobility; mitigating the fiscal benefits cliff; engagement with employers and the business community; root cause level supports, including the role of non-economic social supports; addressing structural racism and inequities; and more. Just as it is important to understand and address the root causes of illness in order to live a healthy life, we believe it’s equally important to understand and address the enabling conditions for social and economic well-being in order to experience social and economic mobility.
Submission Deadline: February 24

June — Human-Centered Design: Putting Family at the Center of Our Work.
This issue will focus on the use of human-centered principles impacting the design and delivery of services. Articles will showcase examples of agencies, both at the state and local levels, and in the private and nonprofit sectors leveraging population-level data to understand community context and align programs and services to actual needs. We also wish to highlight client empowerment, community engagement, justice, and equity principles and standards. In this issue, we are interested in spotlighting the ways in which H/HS agencies and their partners are generating knowledge and evidence about what works for whom and in what context. This issue will be shared at the APHSA National Health and Human Services Summit.*
Submission Deadline: April 24

August — Innovating for the Future: Maximizing Modern Tools and Platforms.
This issue is our yearly “technology-focused” issue and is shared at the ISM Annual Conference.** Articles will showcase emerging technology and business practices that help advance the next generation of H/HS by giving modern tools to the workforce and customers. We also wish to showcase what is required of agencies to modernize their business model for the future, leverage advance analytics to inform decision-making, and assure ethical use of data through an equity lens.
Submission Deadline: June 19

October — Navigating Upstream: Achieving Better Health and Well-Being through Prevention.
This issue is focused on prevention and early intervention as ways to improve overall health and well-being and how H/HS services can positively impact the social determinants of health. Articles focused on promoting child and family well-being and preventing child maltreatment through effective primary prevention and early intervention will be particularly important to include in this issue. Other topics will explore the integration of large systems (e.g., housing, employment, and H/HS) and learning from other sectors such as public health and education in working upstream to address root causes.
Submission Deadline: August 17

December — Partnering for Impact: Co-Creating Generative Solutions.
This issue will focus on cross-sector collaboration, both as it relates to public-private partnerships and coordination across related public sectors such as education, housing, employment, and criminal justice. Contributions should include examples of collaborations and cross-sector work contributing to system change and leading to better outcomes for communities through generative solutions. We are looking for examples of partnerships that are moving beyond the traditional contractor-vendor relationship to those that are truly co-creating, driving better outcomes, and achieving collective impact.
Submission Deadline: October 19

*The 2020 APHSA National Health and Human Services Summit will be held June 7-10 in Arlington, VA.

**The annual IT Solutions Management for Human Services (ISM) conference convenes leaders in state and local government, innovative technology vendors, and federal officials to share strategies to improve H/HS programs using cutting edge IT solutions. This year’s conference will be held September 13-16 in Kissimmee, FL.


Policy & Practice is a member benefit. To access past issues, please login. If you are interested in receiving or contributing to any upcoming issues, please contact the editor, Jessica Garon.