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Elevating Youth & Family Voice

Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine the three most important things in your life.

Now, open your eyes and write them down.

Let’s say you can’t have all three. Cross one item off.

One more time.

What is left on your list?


For many people, family—or something directly related to family—is the last item standing.

At LSS, we prioritize the family role in an individual’s success. By elevating youth and family voice, we not only work alongside individuals seeking services, but we address needs within their family, while lifting up the strengths and challenges identified by families.

Last spring, Vincent Madera and David Collins with Children’s Village of New York inspired and challenged our leadership and staff to reflect on how we can ease disparities for families by elevating the voice of those we serve.

Madera and Collins spent a week with LSS leadership and staff engaging conversation surrounding two of our agency’s strategic priorities:

  • Seek program opportunities that strengthen families.
  • Ensure that LSS is a welcoming and inclusive organization for staff and clients while working toward equitable outcomes for those we serve.

Elevating youth and family voice means listening, reflecting and creating a plan with families. It means that we honor the families’ experiences, history, culture and goals.

It means that we listen to individuals and families about their strengths, challenges and what they need to succeed, and we work together to find the right  resources.

“The elevation of the client’s voice will show up differently in each service area,” says Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen, LSS President and CEO. “We have the unique opportunity, unlike any others, to take a whole-person and whole-family approach to care.”