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Over the past 18 months, four foster care “hackathons” have explored how technology could be optimized to streamline child welfare systems and better serve youth and families, says the Chronicle of Social Change.

During that time, events in Washington, D.C., New York City, the Silicon Valley and Los Angeles have been instrumental in spurring changes to the child welfare systems there.

The hackathon series kicked off in May 2016 at the first-ever White House Foster Care and Technology Hackathon in Washington, D.C. Hosted by the White House, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and foster care non-profit Think of Us, the two-day event brought together child welfare leaders, nonprofit organizations, philanthropies, foster youth and leaders from the technology sector to “hack” the foster care system’s most pressing challenges.

Hackathons – like the foster youth policy and technology hackathons – have spurred a new wave of civic engagement, and these collaborations between the technology and public sector can move the dial on social issues. In an article featured in the Review of Policy Research journal, authors Peter Johnson and Pamela Robinson examine how hackathons, by working with open data and examining government services, can act as a form of civic engagement to spur change.

Please visit the Chronicle of Change website to read the rest of the article.