Open IDEO Social Impact Lab PDX is an eight-week design marathon focused on making a difference in a local Portland, Oregon community through social impact design. My team was matched with the specific challenge of rethinking “home” for transitioning foster youth. We were invited to co-design a new idea of "home" that’s developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed, and deeply connected to the community. We worked closely together with SolutionsPDX, Oregon Foster Youth Connection (OFY), and local foster youth to research, ideate, design, build and test solutions that meet the needs of foster youth who are aging out.
key insights: no resource can ever stand in for in-person support from someone they can relate to, sometimes youth don’t want to ask for help and some issues are easier to explore online and current resources (online or in-person) may not offer the right information at the right time.
response: encourage and support personal connection, connect users to in-person help AND enable them to do individual research, cultivate a community that can ensure that resources are up-to-date.
We presented to our project sponsors, foster youth, advocates and policy makers a rough prototype of our digital platform that will support transitioning foster youth and their advocates by providing an equitably accessible “space” with up-to-date, vetted information for housing, work, financial aid and healthcare resources.