This policy roadmap lays out lessons and perspectives of youth as well as successful and innovative programs from the state and local levels, to replicate their successes on youth experiences in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and break the foster care-to-prison pipeline.
This Policy Roadmap Forward outlines useful tools, policies, practices, and frameworks to support federal, state, and local jurisdictions; among schools, behavioral health service providers, health care settings, and community-based services. The document is organized around three identified needs for action by jurisdictions: support cross-system collaboration that integrates a shared vision and values; implement coordinated trauma-informed approaches into child- and family-serving systems beyond child welfare and juvenile justice systems; and adopt innovative and technology-based solutions that improve outcomes and opportunities for youth with dual status. The authors’ goal for this document is to interrupt the pathways to delinquency with child welfare involvement and move toward a better system of care and services for children and youth involved with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The document provides policy and practice recommendations for cross-system collaboration, trauma-informed approaches, and technology-based solutions and innovations; it encourages child-and family-serving systems to shift their way of thinking and adopt policies and practices that are developmentally appropriate, trauma-responsive, and youth-led, in order to help foster resilience and promote healthy social and emotional development.