Best practice for any engagement is that it should always be evidence-based, trauma-responsive and healing-centered, and create a space where lived experts feel safe and comfortable sharing their expertise. Lived experience experts may be engaged in a variety of forums such as town halls, advisory boards, focus groups, and more.
States and jurisdictions can also go beyond lived experience engagement to pursue lived experience expert empowerment, which allows lived experience experts to lead each step of the development process, including problem-identification, action-planning, and implementation.
For more on lived experience expert engagement and empowerment, check out the resources below:
Building on the Lessons Learned From Division X Implementation
Read a high-level overview of the Division X TA project and discover lessons learned from the implementation of the legislation’s funding and program flexibilities to better meet the needs of youth and young adults.
The Power of Youth-Adult Partnerships | Children’s Bureau Express
Explore how a lived experience expert partnered with a child welfare staff person in Louisiana to implement change and the lessons that they learned along the way.
Division X Technical Assistance: Young Adults Leading Change | Children’s Bureau Express
Discover how the Division X TA project embraced youth empowerment by recruiting a team of lived experience experts and folded them into a change management process at state agencies.
Division X Technical Assistance: A Tool for Youth Engagement and Empowerment
Learn the key considerations needed for best practices when setting up youth engagement and youth empowerment opportunities, including tips, tricks, and checklists to help guide implementation and includes resources for more information.
Engaging lived experience experts has allowed many states and jurisdictions to carry out unique, innovative strategies to address the needs and concerns of those impacted by the child welfare system, thanks to their strong collaboration with those receiving services. These innovations were the focus of three webinars held by the Division X TA project:
Division X Technical Assistance Kickoff
Explore Division X Targeted Assistance Projects (TAPs) that were designed to help child welfare agencies build capacity and make sustainable improvements to policies and practices for youth and young adults in and transitioning from foster care. TAPs leveraged expertise and partnerships with youth and young adults to improve outcomes and advance equity by applying youth-centered promising and best practices.
Building Sustainable Change With Youth and Young Adults
Hear child welfare agency staff from Hawaii, Indiana, and Westchester County, New York, discuss the practices and systemic changes they made in partnership with their youth and young adults.
Division X TA: Reflections and Opportunities
Discover what was accomplished by the Division X TA project in fiscal year 2022. Achievements include application of the core principles of youth-adult partnership to projects and practices, positive youth development, and provision of youth-led, equity-centered technical assistance.