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Advancing Primary Prevention in Human Services: Opportunities for People with Lived Experience

Publication Date
Lauren Akers, Jennifer Tippins, Susan Hauan, Miranda Lynch-Smith

This brief highlights a new way of delivering primary prevention services that promotes equity by relying on the guidance and leadership of people with lived experience. The policy designers and service providers behind prevention services should have lived experience and/or co-create these services with people who do. This brief shares ideas on ways policymakers, practitioners, and researchers can engage people with lived experience and the roles they can play in creating a primary prevention system that aims to prevent adverse outcomes from occurring by promoting protective factors and reducing risk factors.

Key Points:

  • When policymakers, service providers, and researchers reach out and engage people with lived experience in building a primary prevention system, there are many roles these individuals can play, including storyteller, advisor, grantee, partner, and staff.
  • Storytellers can help improve how providers understand what’s working, what’s not, and how to improve services and programs.
  • As an advisor, people with lived experience can help design research that can build support for prevention services and help co-create prevention services.
  • Grantees with lived experience can shape—and use—funding for primary prevention services.
  • As a partner, people with lived experience can help rally community support for prevention services.
  • People with lived experience can join the primary prevention workforce as staff.

This brief is one in a series of three short issue briefs that highlight key reflections from a Health and Human Services (HHS) virtual convening in August 2022. Each brief is centered on a specific audience based on the role they play in a human services system focused on primary prevention.

*This content is in the process of Section 508 review. If you need immediate assistance accessing this content, please submit a request to Susan Hauan, (202) 730-3905 Content will be updated pending the outcome of the Section 508 review.

Product Type
ASPE Issue Brief
Children | Parents | Youth | Racial & Ethnic Groups | Families with Children | Low-Income Populations | Underserved Populations