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Innovation Brief: Bridging the Divide: Enhancing Collaboration between the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems to Respong to the Needs of Dually Involved Youth

Published Dec 6, 2014, Center for Children’s Law and Policy

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In DuPage County, Illinois, youth who have concurrent involvement with both the delinquency and child welfare systems comprise only a small percentage of youth in the juvenile justice system. However, officials believed that the complex and intensive needs of these dually involved youth warranted a specialized response.

DuPage County officials developed a set of integrated, cross-system responses to decrease arrests of youth in congregate child welfare placements, prevent unnecessary or prolonged stays in secure detention, and integrate juvenile justice and child welfare case planning while youth are on probation supervision. With the success of these innovations, DuPage County not only improved cross-system collaboration and outcomes for dually involved youth, but they also began to address dual juvenile justice and child welfare system involvement as a source of racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system.

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