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Lost by Design: How Well-Meaning Systems Fail Kids

Hailly T.N. Korman
Jessica Slaton


Screen grab of lostbydesign.org website homepage

Millions of young people in the U.S. face overwhelming challenges to living long, happy, and healthy lives. When young people experience life events that disrupt their education pathways — like homelessness, incarceration, or a placement in foster care — they often struggle to meet the demands of the very systems that are designed to help them.

Adults in youth-serving organizations often fail to communicate or collaborate effectively, yet, on paper, are still “doing their jobs.” That’s what we call fragmentation. It’s the business-as-usual approach for schools, foster care agencies, juvenile justice systems, and other organizations to fail to look across a young person's life to understand and meet their needs. It's systemic and it has real-life consequences for millions of young people.

Instead, communities must listen to young people, and work together to create coherence.

Lost by Design is a new resource from Bellwether Education Partners that outlines how to address this critical, solvable problem. On the website, you’ll meet young people and their families, read about promising progress across the country, access research and resources, and learn more about Bellwether's approach.

Visit the Lost by Design website.