History of Human Services Technology
The history of
human services electronic technology can be summarized by a series of events.
The events below are a first attempt by HUSITA to record this history.
This list should be continually evolving so if anyone has items to add, please
email them to me. Please provide the
event, date, and significance if not obvious. We are especially interested in
non-HUSITA events and in events occurring in countries not currently listed.
Also, you can email longer explanatory documents that be linked to any item in
the list of events.
survey of US schools of social work by Gunther Geiss identified over 80
faculty using computers in their work.
1979 Computers at a social work conference agitates the
1981. A small
group of US human service technology specialists met at a Council of Social
Work Education conference in Louisville KY and formed the Computer Use In
Social Services Network (CUSSN). By the end of 1981, the CUSSN Newsletter,
published between 1981-92, reported over 350 members. Similar efforts in
other human service professions were recorded in the newsletters
Computers in Psychiatry/Psychology and the MicroPsych Network.
1983. Walter LaMendola and Brian Klepinger created the
name HUSITA (Human Service Information Technology Applications) at the
University of Denver.
Wye Plantation Conference on Human Services
Technology Sponsored by the Silberman Fund was held. Conference members
developed pre-conference position papers via EYES, a centralized email
system. For the conference position papers, see, Geiss G. R. & Viswanathan,
N. (Eds.) (1995), The Human Edge: Information Technology and Helping
People, NY: Haworth Press.
CASW (Computer Applications in Social Work) was
formed in the U.K. to setup and run national conferences and to publish the CASW journal.
CASW was renamed New Technology in the Human Services
(link not working--correction welcomed)
but ceased publication in 2003.
The Haworth Press Journal, Computers in Human Services was
founded. The journal was later renamed the Journal of Technology in
1985, Summer. Based on the success of the first U.K.
technology conferences, Stuart Toole, Walter LaMendola, and Brian Klepinger
agreed to pursue a 1987 International HUSITA conference.
1985? University of Southampton began publishing
Technology in the Human Services under the editorship of Bryan Glastonbury.
Human Service Microcomputer Conference was held in Seattle WA.
UK conference held on social welfare computing.
CUSSN members developed CUSSNet, a PC and FidoNet based networking system
that automatically exchanged emails each night during off-peak telephone
hours. FidoNet was a PC distributed email, bulletin board, and file sharing
system that preceded the Internet. CUSSNet quickly developed nodes in major
cities in the US, the UK, and the Netherlands.
1986. The Netherlands, coordinated by Hein de Graaf,
held a 3 day series of gatherings called WELCOM that were designed to
increase the knowledge and understanding of information technology in the
Dutch human services. WELCOM 1 was in 1986, in Bussum. WELCOM 2 was in
1987, in Bussum. WELCOM 3 was in 1993, jointly with HUSITA 3 in Maastricht.
Walter LaMendola was the main speaker on those conferences.
1987, Sep 7-11,
HUSITA1 International Conference,
Birmingham England. Approximately 100 HUSITA1 participants attended an
international meeting. They requested that a small Working Group comprised
of Hein de Graaf (Netherlands), Walter LaMendola (USA), Dick Schoech (USA),
and Stuart Toole (UK) determine the feasibility of establishing an
international body concerned with technology and human services. “The
purpose of the international association could be to highlight the
importance of human service computing, to guide developments, and to foster
international cooperation.” Initial projects identified were the
development of research agendas, position papers, repositories of
information, and promoting a second HUSITA conference in 1989. Bryan
Glastonbury was later added to the group as secretary. For the HUSITA1
proceedings, see Glastonbury, B. LaMendoal, W, & Toole, S. (Eds.), (1988).
Information Technology and the Human Services. Chichester: John Wiley &
JTHS HUSITA1 abstracts.
1988, May. The working group established at HUSITA1 met
in Denver for 3 days and published their report on the issues that a HUSITA
international organization needed to address. See Report of the HUSITA
working group, Computer Use in Social Services Network Newsletter,
Fall, 1998, Vol 8/3, pp. 6-9.
26-30. HUSITA2 on “Computer Technology and Human Services in the 90’s:
Advancing Theory and Practice” was held in New Brunswick, NJ, USA. For the
proceedings, see Leiderman, M. Guzetta, C., Struminger, L., Monnickendam, M.
(Eds.). Technology in people services. New York: Haworth.
1992, May. ENITH (European Network for Information Technology and Human Services)
was started at an Maastricht
under sponsorship of the Dutch Ministry of Social Services and Health, with
Bryan Glastonbury as Chair and Hein de Graaf as secretary. Report and participants.
ENITH3 Expert Meeting on “IT Applications and
the Quality of Life and Services” was held in The Netherlands.
15-18, HUSITA3 on “Information Technology and the Quality of Life and
Services” was held in Maastricht, The Netherlands.
1993. A HUSITA
Foundation was formed in the Netherlands and abolished in 2003.
21-23. ENITH4 conference on “held in Berlin Germany.
CAUSA5/ENITH5 conference on “The Impact of
Information Technology on Social Policy,” was held in Eindhoven, The
1995, Nov, IMISS conference was held in Bath, UK.
11-14, HUSITA4, on “Information Technology in the Human Services: Dreams
and Realities” was held in Lapland, Finland.
1997, Social Services and learning technology (SSALT)
conference on “Implementing Learning Technologies within Courses” was held
in Bournemouth, UK. ENITH’s representation in SSALT linked it to HUSITA.
1999, Aug 29-
Sep 1, HUSITA5 on “Social Services in the Information Society: Closing the
GAP” was held in Budapest, Hungary.
2000, Feb 17-18. Denver meeting to discuss the formal
organizing of a HUSITA organization. The founding members were: Hein de
Graaf, Walter LaMendola, Rob MacFadden, Jo Ann Regan, Jackie Rafferty, Jan
Steyaert, Dick Schoech, Stuart Toole, and Victor Savtschenko. For the report
of this meeting, see
12-16: HUSITA6 conference on “Technology and Human Services in a
Multicultural Society” was held in Charleston SC, USA. Due to the terrorist
attacks on 11Sep01, a truncated conference was held. Also, a brief HUSITA
board meeting was held, the bylaws were approved, and officers were elected.
HUSITA6 original web
New Technology in Human Services
HUSITA7 (link not
Hong Kong, China. HUSITA7 was delayed from Aug 2003 to 24-27 Aug 2004 due to SARS.
View the closing synopsis
2007, HUSITA8, Toronto Canada.
August 26-29, 2007.
HUSITA9 (link not working-correction welcomed), Hong Kong, China, June 10-14, 2010. (In conjunction
with the 2010 Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development)
Conference videos are at