Citizens for Juvenile Justice
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Executive Summary (pdf)
Press Release (pdf)

Missed Opportunities | September 2015

Children pulled into the child welfare system are too often not afforded the kinds of stabilizing support systems that are essential for their healthy growth and well-being. This puts them at high risk of developing reactive behaviors that lead to their entry into the juvenile justice system. Involvement in the juvenile justice system is tied to academic failure, future arrests and other long-term consequences.

We must seek interventions to prevent these “multi-system,” “dual-status” or “crossover” youth from entering the juvenile justice system. This review found that within the child welfare system, the children who eventually had juvenile justice involvement had significantly different experiences from those who did not. These findings present opportunities to intervene, and incorporate different policies and programs that can prevent these children’s juvenile justice involvement. CfJJ also identified areas where better data collection is needed to gather the essential information that can guide us to success and highlight what works.


Examining the data


Preventing crossover: Report Recommendations


For a PDF copy of the report, please click HERE.

For a copy of the press release, please click HERE.

CfJJ's presentation on the report is available HERE.


A companion report by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, Funding Opportunities: Services that Help Prevent Kids in the Child Welfare System from Entering the Juvenile Justice System, examines services that help children and families in the child welfare system. These services can include family stabilization to help children stay at home while their families receive supports to help them through a difficult time, supports for kids living with foster families, and other supports such as those for vulnerable kids at school. Funding for some of these services has recently increased, but even with increases, funding may not be sufficient to meet the needs of these vulnerable children. Further, these services are scattered across different agencies, pointing out both the need for and challenges of collaboration. This report is available at HERE.


Additional Resources

Trauma in Dual-Status Youth: Putting Things in Perspective. RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice's first policy brief on dually involved children.

Identifying Dual Status Youth with Trauma-Related Problems.RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice's second policy brief on dually involved children.

Placement Instability as a Risk Factor in Proximal Sexually Inappropriate and Aggressive Behaviors in a Child Welfare Sample. Justice Resource Institute article on the harms of placement instability.


These reports were released on September 29, 2015 by Citizens for Juvenile Justice and the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center at a forum hosted by the Massachusetts Bar Association.

This research was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. We thank them for their support but acknowledge that the findings and conclusions presented in this report are those of Citizens for Juvenile Justice alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Foundation.


CfJJ Reports

CfJJ Fact Sheets

Additional Resources:

   » Mass.

   » National