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Image credit: Gilberto Tadday / TED

"My whole life, I was just 58 miles and a couple of questions away from family."

Sixto Cancel, Founder & CEO of Think of Us

On April 19th, Sixto Cancel gave a TED Talk in Vancouver, Canada, discussing how the child welfare field can create immediate and significant impact in childrens’ lives by keeping them connected to their families whenever possible.

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Who is Think of Us
Think of Us is a research and design lab for the social sector. Led and guided by people who have been directly impacted by the child welfare system, we are a trusted partner across the field nationally. We publish groundbreaking research, work with cities, states, and tribes to co-design and implement solutions to long-standing challenges, and advise federal and state policy makers on effective, bipartisan solutions.

Child Welfare is at the beginning of a transformational shift, and we have raised $50M through the Audacious project for a five-year project to accelerate this field-wide momentum and drive nationwide, catalytic change. Over the next five years, we will work with partners across the field to prioritize family and child well-being. 

Our Audacious Goal

Together we will build a system that is:

Family Centered:  67% of kids in foster care are there for issues related to poverty, not abuse. Together, we can reduce unnecessary placements by providing better support to families.

Kin Focused: When kids do need to be removed from immediate family for abuse or willful neglect, place with known and trusted adults – referred to as kinship care. Together, we ensure kinship placements become the norm.

Future Minded: Each year 20K youth enter adulthood without returning to their family or being adopted. Programs across the country are helping them make a successful transition to adulthood and achieve their education and career goals. Together, we can scale these effective solutions.

Check out this interactive video to learn more.

The Audacious Project
Launched in April 2018, The Audacious Project is a collaborative funding initiative that is catalyzing social impact on a grand scale. Housed at TED, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, and with support from leading social impact advisor The Bridgespan Group, The Audacious Project convenes funders and social entrepreneurs with the goal of supporting bold solutions to the world’s most urgent challenges. The funding collective is made up of respected organizations and individuals in philanthropy, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ELMA Philanthropies, MacKenzie Scott, Skoll Foundation, Valhalla Foundation, and more.

Each year The Audacious Project supports a new cohort. The 2023 grantees are CAMFED, Canopy, Clean Slate Initiative, Global Fishing Watch, Innovative Genomics Institute, Jan Sahas’ Migrants Resilience Collaborative, ReNew2030, Restore Local, Think of Us, and Upstream USA.


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