Lived experience means the representation and understanding of an individual’s human experiences, choices, and options and how those factors influence one’s perception of knowledge from one’s own life. Those with lived experience in child welfare have a unique, firsthand perspective on issues that can inform partnerships, policies, and solutions that best meet the needs of children and families.
Child welfare agencies and organizations should prioritize collaborating with individuals who have lived experience to gain a better understanding of how people are affected by the social issue. The ways in which agencies choose to engage in this collaboration must be authentic and intentional in order to prevent harm.
This episode presents a panel discussion from the Capacity Building Center for State’s 2022 Child Welfare Virtual Expo. The panel members provide an array of approaches for organizations to engage people with lived experience.
Panel participants include the following:
- Huyanna Clearwater, Division X Targeted Technical Assistance Project
- Jeremiah Donier, Capacity Building Center for States
- Alex Gaither, SaySo (Strong Able Youth Speaking Out) North Carolina
- Michaela Guthrie, Capacity Building Center for States
- Marcella Middleton, SaySo (Strong Able Youth Speaking Out) North Carolina
- Keri Richmond, American Academy of Pediatrics and Unbelievably Resilient
- Dakota Roundtree-Swain, Capacity Building Center for States
Topics discussed include the following:
- Actionable ways to engage in authentic, nonexploitative storytelling endeavors with those with lived expertise
- Strategies to authentically engage people with lived experience and mitigate harm to those asked to tell their stories