Curated Story
Sixto Cancel served as a chief organizer of the “White House Foster Care Hackathon” in 2016.
Source: Think of Us

Catalyzing Change in Child Welfare During COVID-19

This article originally appeared on A New Game

As COVID-19 rapidly spreads across the U.S., young people in the foster care system are speaking up about how the crisis is impacting them — and policymakers are listening.

Through the online COVID-19 Command Center created by Ashoka Fellow Sixto Cancel, young people are sending in their personal stories, challenges, or solutions, knowing that their words are reaching key decision makers visiting the platform.

“In crisis situations people will make decisions about people without actually asking people,” Sixto explains. "This is taking proximity to the next level. It's literally going from the ground to the federal policymakers who are creating plans."

Sixto Cancel

Ashoka Fellow since Mar 2019


Ashoka insight

The COVID-19 crisis will have a deep, long term impact on young people in foster care — and potentially the U.S. child welfare system itself. Ashoka Fellow Sixto Cancel is one of many changemakers working to respond to COVID-19 while leveraging opportunities to create long-lasting transformation. “This is an opportunity for us to actually create a new system for older foster care youth,” Sixto says. “And that’s the most important.”

As we respond to urgent needs during this crisis, it’s important to keep thinking about systems change.