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JJGPS State Scan: Systems Integration-Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice

Published Oct 21, 2014, National Center for Juvenile Justice

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The way states organize the administration of child welfare and juvenile justice varies widely across the country and may influence a state’s ability to coordinate services between the two systems.

When states centralize administration of child welfare and juvenile justice (inclusive of community supervision or juvenile probation)  through a single state-level department, as is the case in five states (DelawareNew HampshireNew MexicoRhode Island, and Vermont), structural barriers to coordination may be reduced. An additional two states integrate all aspects but juvenile probation (Tennessee and Wyoming) and two more integrate within the separate divisions of an umbrella agency (Alaska and Mississippi).

In almost one half of the states, one or more aspects of the child protection or the core juvenile justice intervention systems are decentralized.  

By identifying state-level activities that address the challenge of systems integration for youth with dual-status in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems ,this JJGPS StateScan provides a broad overview of policies and practices regarding this juvenile justice reform topic. The JJGPS project will continue to track state progress over time. Additional information, including individual state summaries and statistical overlays, will be available on the JJGPS website (

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Models for Change is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.