In January 2016, child-serving agencies in New York City formally implemented the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM) across all five of the city’s boroughs, becoming the largest jurisdiction in the country to do so. For the past six years, the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) has worked with jurisdictions across the country to improve outcomes for youth that are dually-involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems through the implementation of the CYPM. To date, the Model has been implemented in over 95 jurisdictions and 21 states. By design, the Model calls for changes in all aspects a jurisdiction’s youth serving systems—from front line practice to larger system infrastructure. Because the Model calls for wide-reaching systems change, implementing the CYPM is a substantial undertaking in a jurisdiction of any size.
In 2011, New York City leadership from the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), Department of Probation (DOP), and the New York City Family Court made a collective decision to implement the Model to address the needs of the city’s dually-involved youth. To address the impressive scale across the entirety of New York City, system leaders and CJJR decided on a staggered implementation strategy. The Bronx was identified as the initial borough for CYPM engagement and implementation. With leadership from these agencies and the strong support of the Bronx Family Court, engagement with CJJR to implement the Model began in June 2012. While the Bronx served as the initial borough for engagement, the other boroughs would shortly follow suit.
When beginning the work of implementing the Model, each borough sent a small team of system leaders and managers to the the Multi-System Integration Certificate Program (MSI-CP) at Georgetown University. Participants in the program received instruction from national experts on cutting edge ideas, policies and practices including multi-system approaches, cost efficiency procedures, collaborative leadership techniques and proactive communication strategies. Armed with these foundational strategies and techniques, MSI-CP participants returned to New York City to lead their boroughs in the substantial task of implementing the CYPM back home. With tremendous support from various city agencies, stakeholders, and advocates, the CYPM was implemented in all five boroughs in early 2016.
On July 26, 2016, ACS, DOP, the NYC Family Court, and CJJR held a daylong conference in Manhattan to mark the implementation of the CYPM in New York. Over 120 stakeholders, including caseworkers, probation officers, judges, attorneys, service providers, and system leaders, attended this meeting to discuss and strategize around the successes and challenges of implementing the CYPM across the boroughs. The meeting consisted of a series of panel discussions with those practitioners who are most closely involved with the on-the-ground work of serving youth and families under the Model. Each panel provided a different perspective on implementation across the various boroughs that allowed for cross-borough conversations and learning opportunities that will aid in improving practices across all elements of the CYPM. The day revealed that while there are several remaining challenges to cross-system collaboration, each borough—from the front-line to leadership and city level leaders/management—is committed to improving outcomes for all of New York City’s youth.