American culture tends to prioritize the expertise of trained professionals over that of community members’ lived experience. As such, child-serving institutions are often designed by policy makers, academics, and other “experts,” without local involvement. The result is that programs and policies may not meet the complete needs of the children they intend to serve.
Innovative practitioners are reconfiguring schools, clinics, and social services to design programs directly informed by the lived experience of the children they aim to serve.
Such solutions often build channels for community involvement in decision-making, thereby improving efficacy and building connections between those with professional and experiential expertise.