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Envisaging a New Model of Care: Learning from innovations in the USA


October 18, 2022

Part 2 of our Coram Innovation Webinar 4pm Tuesday 25th October

With the number of children and young people entering the care system growing rapidly, it is becoming increasingly difficult for authorities to find suitable local homes which offer security and stability, whether in foster, kinship or residential care. Across the nation and internationally, sufficiency and stability of provision are significant challenges for the sector.

In the Coram Innovation Incubator (CII’s) second webinar on this topic on Tuesday 25th October from 16:00 BST, we are delighted to be joined by Sixto Cancel, CEO and Founder of Think of Us, a research and development lab for child welfare, based in the USA, and Marina Nitze, Partner at Layer Aleph and Fellow at New America, where she leads on foster carer recruitment and retention strategies.

Sixto will be sharing insights from both his own personal experience and the extensive research carried out by Think of Us to help us consider how we can provide better, more appropriate homes for looked-after children and young people.

Marina will be discussing her ongoing work to improve the child welfare system in the USA, focusing on the use of data for foster care recruitment and kin placement.

About Our Speakers

Sixto Cancel is the Founder and CEO of Think of Us, a Research and Development Lab. Inspired by his own experience in care the care system, Sixto founded Think of Us in 2014. Based in the USA, Think of Us carries out research and undertakes projects, which focus on how we can harness lived experience of care and utilise technology to re-design the system for looked-after children. The organisation has led a national initiative, in collaboration with the Obama Administration, to promote the deployment of technology in the field of foster care via the first ever White House Foster Care and Technology Hackathon. Sixto is also a fellow for the Annie E. Casey Foundation for children and was previously a Youth Innovation Advisory Board member for Dell. He was recognised as a 2021 Children’s Bureau Champion and listed in the Forbes Top 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneur list, among other commendations.

Marina Nitze is a Fellow at New America’s New Practice Lab, where she works on developing approaches to improve the foster care system in America. She is also a Partner at Layer Aleph, a crisis response firm which works to improve complex software systems. Marina served in the White House under President Obama as a Senior Adviser on technology and then the Chief Technology Officer of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and was formerly the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the US Department of Education. She has recently co-authored a new book called Hack Your Bureaucracy. Marina sits on the advisory board for Foster America and volunteers as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care.

You can watch the first part of this webinar with Wendy Williams, Assistant Director for Integrated Children and Families Commissioning at Gloucestershire County Council here.



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