Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Leadership Forum

CfJJ is a founding member of the Massachusetts Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Leadership Forum, a collective impact group comprised of key government and non-profit sector stakeholders who believe that promoting the positive development of young people and families is the best path to child well-being, healthy communities and public safety. The Forum includes high-level participation from nearly every stakeholder in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems in Massachusetts, including both government and non-state actors. 

Led by a core group of child-serving agencies, the Leadership Forum has articulated a shared vision for children, youth and families who come into contact with the juvenile justice or child welfare systems in Massachusetts. This vision encompasses: appropriate placement; fairness and effectiveness; a well resourced, mutually accountable, evidence-driven, and data-informed system; and a system that works to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities.

Strategic Objectives

In order to reach the above-mentioned result, the Leadership Forum has undertaken four strategic objectives, each of which seeks to integrate a positive youth development (PYD) approach more deeply into agency practices and policies.

1.     Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System

2.     Strengthening Child Welfare Supports for Youth to Reduce Delinquent Behaviors and Improve Child Welfare Outcomes

3.     Training Current Staff and Developing Tomorrow’s Workforce

4.     Strengthening Community Based Responses to Youth & Families

The Leadership Forum meets quarterly, and the Core Group of government organizations is working on a Results Based Leadership process to define metrics of success for the initiative. A Training Committee, convened jointly with the Massachusetts Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) helps carry out the training objective.  A professional staff member, hosted at Citizens for Juvenile Justice, helps coordinate the Forum’s work on a day-to-day basis.

For more information about the Leadership Forum, contact Josh Dankoff at

Learn more about the history of the Leadership Forum: