U.S. flag

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

Law Enforcement Referral of At-Risk Youth: The SHIELD Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2000
8 pages
This Bulletin discusses the SHIELD program for identifying and treating at-risk youth.
This Bulletin provides an overview of Westminster, CA’s, Strategic Home Intervention and Early Leadership Development (SHIELD) program. SHIELD uses contacts that law enforcement officers make in the normal course of their duties to identify at-risk youth and connect them with community resources. The SHIELD process gives officers a procedure for providing assistance to youth who are exposed to family risk factors. In addition, the program improves coordination among law enforcement, social services, community service providers and the school system to facilitate early identification and treatment of at-risk youth who might otherwise be overlooked. Of 43 randomly selected youths tracked during the first year of the SHIELD program, 60 percent received services of some kind, 26 percent could not be contacted because they were no longer in the community and 14 percent were still in the community but did not receive services because of parental refusal. The paper contains factors necessary for replication of the SHIELD program in other areas. It concludes that the critical supporting factor is not funding but the commitment and support of law enforcement administrators and personnel who are dedicated to preventing delinquency. Notes, figure, references

Date Published: November 1, 2000