As the agency in charge of regulation and oversight of state child welfare systems, the Children’s Bureau plays a critical role in determining the priorities and practices of the child welfare system. Historically, while the Children’s Bureau has heard from people with lived experience, their voices have not been at the center of the agency’s policy strategy. As a result, policy and practice across the entire child welfare ecosystem has lacked the context and understanding offered by those who have first-hand experience with child welfare.
Think of Us engages with the Children’s Bureau on issues that are directly and indirectly related to child welfare. In this work, we actively integrate the voices of individuals with lived experience in child welfare by sharing data, participatory research, and direct feedback of child welfare stakeholders. Rather than limiting our contribution to the views of our singular organization, TOU creates proximity by inviting individual, organization, and state child welfare players to share issues they face and perspectives on policy. We synthesize this information to provide the Children’s Bureau with relevant, actionable insights into the barriers and needs of people impacted by child welfare.
60+ child welfare advocates and organizations contribute to TOU talking points
4,286 people attended April 2021 and 1,000+ people attended March 2022 National Town Halls