Designed to Thrive

Social policy for families is broken. Instead of tinkering around the edges or simply demanding more funding, New America’s Family-Centered Social Policy initiative believes it is time to step back and re-design the way policy is made from its inception. 

This paper previews a report following this summer proposing a new strategy that is rooted in the principles of Universal Design, an approach that takes into account the needs and capabilities of the broadest range of participants when designing policies and that improves policy performance over time through feedback loops that prioritize ideas and input from real families


Designed to Thrive


Rachel Black is the co-director of the Family-Centered Social Policy program at New America. In this role, she leads research, analysis, and public commentary around a portfolio of issues devoted to creating a more equitable public policy approach to  advancing a new vision for social policy that allows all families to thrive in an era of growing risk, uncertainty, and inequality.

Laura Bornfreund is director of early & elementary education policy with the Education Policy program and co-director of the Family Centered Social Policy program at New America. She leads a team of writers and analysts working on new ideas for improving children’s birth-through-third grade learning experiences.