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Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Intersection of Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2021

This literature review focuses on resources that address the intersection of the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.


The literature reviewed provides information on the characteristics of both systems, predictors of youths’ crossover from one system to the other (dual-status youth), characteristics of dual-status youth, progress and challenges in serving dual- status youth, and outcomes of interventions. The review notes little research has been conducted on how to best work with youth involved in both systems. Few courts, probation departments, and child welfare agencies have established court practices or programs for addressing dual-jurisdiction matters; however, state and local government agencies are increasingly establishing systems that collect and analyze data on youth in both systems. The federal government collects and compiles these data from states in tracking national trends. Some states have integrated and centralized the administration of child welfare and juvenile justice; however, limited evaluation research has been conducted on programs or interventions for dual-status youth or efforts to prevent the transition of maltreated youth to the juvenile justice system. Types of interventions reviewed include trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and family drug treatment court. Research efforts to identify best practices for better serving this high-risk juvenile population have focused on 1) early identification of dual involvement, 2) improved information-sharing across child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and 3) use of coordinated case supervision across juvenile justice and child welfare resources. 85 references

Date Published: May 1, 2021