U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice System Involvement

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2023
2 pages

This document serves as a fact sheet on causes, effects, and potential solutions for youth involvement in the child welfare system.


This brief document highlights statistics regarding youth who have been involved with the child welfare system at some point in their lives. It notes that 618,399 youth were found to be victims of maltreatment in fiscal year 2020, 216,838 youth entered the foster care system in the same year, and 50 percent or more of youth in foster care have experienced an arrest, conviction, or overnight stay in a correctional facility by the age of 17. The document lists some risk factors and disparities, key federal programs, and spotlights three state and regional locations that are working to mitigate crossover between the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Some promising approaches identified by document include: Systems Integration Initiative (SII) model; Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM); Family Centered Engagement (FCE); and Coordinated Case Planning. The document also provides a bibliography of works cited.

Date Published: March 1, 2023