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Guidebook for Juvenile Justice & Child Welfare System Coordination and Integration: A Framework for Improved Outcomes, 3rd Edition

Published Dec 13, 2013, Janet K. Wiig and John A. Tuell, with Jessica K. Heldman

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Increasingly, practitioners and policymakers are recognizing the overlap of the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This overlap is evidenced by maltreated children who become juvenile delinquents, delinquent children who have histories of maltreatment, and families that have intergenerational histories with both systems. It is also evidenced by some administrative and operational realities, in that agencies face duplication of services, competition for scarce program dollars, unmet service needs, and a dearth of prevention activity to help stem the tide of children coming into the two systems.

Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps, through the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice (RFK National Resource Center) and the Models for Change Initiative, developed the third edition of this guidebook to help state and local jurisdictions determine how to achieve useful integration and cooperation between their child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This publication is informed by more than twelve years of experience in the field and guided by current research and best practice methods. The Guidebook uses a four phase framework to support state and local jurisdictions seeking to improve outcomes for dual status youth and their families. The Guidebook highlights numerous examples from jurisdictions across the country that have worked diligently to develop new practices, policies, procedures and protocols that achieve the goals of enhanced multi-system performance and improved youth and family outcomes. The expectation is that a state or local jurisdiction will use the Guidebook’s process to discover what is most useful in its own area and address its particular contextual factors.

The Guidebook is joined with a new supporting publication, Dual Status Youth - Technical Assistance Workbook (2013), designed to be used in conjunction with the Guidebook to advance the development of policy and practice for dual status youth.


Supported by

Models for Change was a juvenile justice systems reform initiative supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.