Launching Soon

The Center for Lived Experience

The heartbeat of Think of Us is to center the Lived Experience of those who are closest to the foster care system – current and former foster youth, biological parents, caregivers, and foster parents – into every stage of creating solutions. Foster care policy, regulation, and implementation to date have a critical structural breakdown – solutions are distanced from the people who actually experience them.

What if we shifted the power dynamic? We envision a world in which the foster youth searching for housing, the young parent striving not to repeat the cycle, and the kinship caregiver supporting their loved one all have meaningful access to and decision-making power over the policies and initiatives that help them meet their basic needs. Our experience demonstrates that individuals with Lived Experience are a dynamic group, eager to play a role in reimagining the child welfare system.  

The Center for Lived Experience will be a first-of-its-kind research and development hub that captures insights, data, and experiences from those who have experienced foster care and models the integration of these findings into child welfare initiatives. Our goal is to revolutionize best practice so that every stakeholder across the child welfare ecosystem embeds lived experience into their work.  

What does that look like? It looks like Lived Experience peer review boards, deep data sets and groundbreaking studies, distinct discovery sprint methodology, an ever-growing virtual community of people who have experienced foster care, and more, all to create a child welfare system where every element is informed and driven by Lived Experience.   

You can be a part of making the Center for Lived Experience a reality.