Conclusion We have the once-in-a-generation opportunity to right the wrongs of child welfare. Our authors' calls to action are how we make that happen. Heeding their calls will require dynamic changes to law, to policy, and to our own internal belief systems about the value of people on the margins. These demands for change will be met with fierce opposition by those who reap compensation, high status, or other forms of power from current system structures. If we do not acknowledge the ways in which individuals and institutions have been shown to act to protect the status quo, collaboration with communities is, at best, a waste of resources. At worst, it is an abuse of the communities we purport to serve. We should not leave our review of the research believing that co-optation is a deterministic process. Movements can resist co-optation.
Movements can bring about a more just, humane world. As sociologists Patrick Coy and Timothy Heeden wrote in their stage model of co-optation, “the social dynamics of co- optation are not made up of some inexorable force progressing toward a preordained and complete co- opting of challenging movements.” 22 My intention in this foreword is to encourage you, the reader, to remain aware of and vigilant to co-optation, and begin to equip you with the tools to identify when it is happening. There is one last element needed: your courage. ______________ 22 IBID. _________________________ Lexie Grüber-Pérez is an incoming Service Design masters candidate at the Royal College of Art in London. She previously served as the Senior Advisor to the Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau during the Biden Administration.
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