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Youth Voices Initiative – Sensemaking Workshop

We assembled as diverse a group as we could (including many young people) to make sense of both the output from the first workshop and the additional research we conducted (expert interviews and literature review). This blog post summarizes the approach and tools we used on that day, including a unique set of personas and a novel form of journey map.


The goal of the workshop was to generate ideas that solved a How Can We? statement:

How can we help _____ (persona) to _____ (solve a problem uncovered during their journey through the justice system)

The three teams each took a persona, deconstructed their story and experience in the family justice system, and expanded on all the pain points, issues, and failings they encountered. After grouping similar topics, solutions were brainstormed, resulting in a final presentation to the entire group on a single idea that was both impactful and possible to prototype.

Team David focused on the needs of the system to help both youth and legal professionals – providing a mandatory mentorship program that helps the youth be heard, while giving lawyers one-on-one interaction with youth.

Team Cody saw his isolation and lack of situational understanding and created the Child After Separation Program – an after-school group of youth who have all experienced some form of separation and can openly discuss anything they wish.

Team Emily saw her lack of confidence and social skills following her parent’s divorce, and envisioned a program that builds confidence for youth through playful activities.

The workshop ended with a roundtable where all ideas were discussed and alternative ideas brainstormed. After a full day’s work, we left on a high note, with the entire group agreeing to contribute where possible moving forward to get these ideas out into the real world!

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