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Dual Status Youth – Technical Assistance Workbook

Published Dec 1, 2013, John A. Tuell, Jessica K. Heldman, and Janet K. Wiig

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“Dual status youth” refers to juveniles who come into contact with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems and occupy various statuses in terms of their relationship to the two systems.  A growing body of research has consistently confirmed that, in comparison to juveniles without such cross-system involvement, dual status youth present a range of important challenges.

 The Technical Assistance Workbook, developed by Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps, through the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice (RFK National Resource Center), is a companion piece to the third edition of the Guidebook for Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare System Coordination and Integration: A Framework for Improved Outcomes (2013), and provides detailed guidance for state and local jurisdictions in their endeavor to improve the outcomes for dual status youth and families and to enhance system performance among the critical youth- and family-serving agency partners. This publication is the product of more than twelve years of experience in the field, and it incorporates a technical assistance framework originally developed in 2003. It is significantly informed by the October 2013 completion of a four-site demonstration project, supported in partnership by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Office for Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention.

The Technical Assistance Workbook presents a month-by-month outline of analytical tasks, expectations, products, and timelines that frame the 12-15 month structure of a dual status youth initiative.  Numerous tools, resources, and examples developed by the RFKNationalResourceCenter and participating jurisdictions are provided.  This publication, particularly when paired with technical assistance provided by the RFK National Resource Center, provides instructive, informed, and flexible guidance for jurisdictions of all sizes, regions, and variable populations across the country to enable success in improving outcomes for some our  most challenged, troubled, and disadvantaged youth.


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Models for Change was a juvenile justice systems reform initiative supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.