This paper takes a hard look at how America’s juvenile justice and child welfare systems are faring—and where they are failing—in helping at-risk youth successfully transition to adulthood. Readers will learn what each agency does well, how they’ve evolved, and how they can work better together moving forward. The end goal is simple: Cross-agency collaboration that delivers effective, individualized services to older youth (brighter futures included).
One way to dramatically reduce the number of disconnected youth is to treat them like family
Findings & Stats
On any given day in America about half a million children live in foster care, and many more are involved in the child welfare system while still living with family.
In 2004, juvenile courts nationwide processed about 1.6 million delinquency cases and transferred an additional 9,400 youth to adult criminal court.
Crossover is Common
Child abuse and neglect increase the likelihood of a juvenile arrest by 55% and the risk of kids committing a violent crime by 96%.
Coordination is Key
Cross-agency coordination is crucial when formulating plans for youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
A 7-part Solution
This report shares 7 recommendations for shaping policy, practice and law in support of developmentally appropriate interventions for crossover youth.
Strategy Sneak Peek
One recommendation advocates for using federal funding to create programs for older youth and then track their outcomes.
Statements & Quotations
Child welfare and juvenile justice youth, regardless of their experiences or past actions, need the same support as other young adults making their place in the world.
The state separated these young people from their families and communities and, in essence, acted as a parent for significant periods of many of these youth’s lives. It can be expected that the state, like any good parent, should remain committed to supporting these young people as they launch into adulthood.
For those who reach age 25 and are disconnected, as when they are without connections to school or job, the future is indeed bleak.
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