Co-designing a Kin-first Culture Approach in Child Welfare – Public Service Design Conference 2023

Bloom Works and the Washington state Department of Children, Youth and Families share how they used service design and co-design to help children in the foster care system stay connected to their extended families, and overcome systemic barriers to kin placement.


Katrina Lanahan, MPH, has more than ten years of experience using human-centered design to transform public benefits and services. She’s worked with federal and state agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and health care organizations to help them build their capacity in co-design, research, and product management. She’s also an experienced qualitative researcher and LUMA-certified facilitator with expertise working with diverse audiences including Medicare beneficiaries, veterans, non-English speaking immigrants, people with disabilities, and kinship caregivers.

Hannah Herrington, MPH, CHES, is a methodical, communication-driven manager who uses a collaborative approach to getting teams and products organized and through the finish line. With a unique ability to focus on both the big picture and the small details, Hannah helps teams focus on their strengths to ultimately deliver end results that positively impact target users. With extended experience in public health, healthcare and digital accessibility, Hannah’s strategic mindset weaves innovation and inclusion in all she does.

Shelly Ronen, PhD, has more than ten years of experience in human-centered design and user research, working with Fortune 100 companies, nonprofits, NGOs, states, and city governments. She has a PhD in sociology, and has worked on developing products and services, evaluating new social programs, and redesigning public service delivery. Shelly’s work is directed to the struggle for a world that is more beautiful and just.

Before aging out of foster care in a kinship home, Renatta Watson already knew she wanted a career supporting children impacted by foster care. Renatta has over 17 years of experience in child welfare, including working with families with open dependency cases, CPS investigations, Child Abuse Hotline, Foster Care Placement Desk, and Foster/Kinship Care Home Studies and Licensing. More importantly, she is a two-time kinship caregiver with a Kinship License. Renatta’s background makes her uniquely qualified to promote Kin-First Culture.


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