Lutheran Services in America is pleased to welcome Natalie Goodnow to work with LSA's Member Engagement team. Natalie, who is pursuing a Master's in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, will focus on older youth and the importance of permanent adult relationships (either formal and informal) as at risk youth age out of the child welfare system. She will work closely with the seven member working group formed to identify and implement best practices to better prepare older at-risk youth to lead abundant lives. At the LSA conference in Minneapolis, this group of LSA providers who support at-risk older youth including traditional and therapeutic foster care, short-term residential services and independent living and transitional services for youth aging out of foster care began a year long learning journey and are working with the Annie E. Casey Foundation Provider Exchange®, a network of exemplar child welfare providers who have successfully negotiated complex change in their own organizations and communities to improve the lives of Children Youth and Families.
Natalie will work to document the findings of this working group in a white paper that will focus on the challenges and innovative programs for older youth who 'age out' of child welfare. With more than 100 LSA member organizations serving youth in their communities, Natalie's work will provide a valuable resource to address the challenges of these older youth and help showcase the many ways the LSA network supports youth across our nation. This project is funded through support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
At Harvard, Natalie works as a research assistant focusing on youth concurrently involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This research compares the relationships between the two systems and how to reduce the number of dual-jurisdiction youth. She has also held internships with the Hertog Political Studies Program at the Hudson Institute and the office of Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. She is active with the Kennedy School Diversity Committee and is a classically trained pianist.
Natalie will complete her Master's program in spring 2017, and holds a Bachelor's Degree from Princeton University. She is the recipient of the Pforzheimer Foundation Nonprofit Fellowship and Associate Editor of the Kennedy School Review.
Please join us in welcoming Natalie to LSA. We are looking forward to working with her this summer in Washington, D.C. and sharing her important work with our network of social ministry organizations.