Research shows that a high-quality education experience is critical in facilitating youth’s long-term well-being, as the education system provides youth with necessary supports, resources, and skills to become productive members of the society. Unfortunately, literature also suggests that youth involved in the juvenile justice systems often do not have access to the same educational opportunities as their non-delinquent counterparts and tend to struggle with the transition to adulthood. To help systems address the education needs of justice-involved youth, CJJR authored an issue brief, Education and Interagency Collaboration: A Lifeline for Justice-Involved Youth.
This issue brief reviews research on education for system-involved youth, details recent efforts to improve education outcomes for the population, and highlights the Washington Education Advocate Program, a school-based transition program that focuses on bridging the education achievement gap for youth involved in the juvenile justice system in the state of Washington.
CYPM in Brief: Improving Educational Outcomes for Crossover Youth
A quality education is an invaluable asset in a child’s life. Educational attainment is an important factor in improving a child’s future income, health status, employment opportunities, and housing stability (Levin, Belfield, Muennig, & Rouse, 2007; Cutler & Lleras-Muney, 2006; Lochner & Moretti, 2001). All children deserve access to a quality education. Unfortunately, children who are involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems face a number of significant challenges when it comes to achieving positive educational outcomes. Policy-makers, educators, and child-serving agencies need to be aware of these challenges and make appropriate efforts to support improving the educational outcomes of this unique population.
To aid in these efforts, this issue brief discusses: the relationships between childhood maltreatment, delinquency, and educational outcomes; the ways in which the CYPM addresses educational outcomes; and how jurisdictions that have employed the CYPM have sought to improve educational outcomes for crossover youth.
Out-of-home placement (OOHP) refers to the removal and placement of a youth from his or her family environment and into an alternative setting. OOHPs occur in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, but under different circumstances. A better understanding of the relationship between OOHP and delinquent behavior would allow agencies to: better target those most at risk of juvenile justice involvement, more effectively utilize in-home and community-based services; inform placement decision-making in the child welfare system; and further educate professionals in both systems to encourage communication and to change practices.
Thus, the objective of this brief is to describe: the role of out-of-home placements in the child welfare system and juvenile justice system and the importance of reducing their inappropriate use; the relationship of OOHPs and delinquency; the “child welfare bias” that a youth with a child welfare system history may face upon contact with the juvenile justice system; the ways in which the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM) addresses OOHP; and how one jurisdiction has addressed OOHP through the implementation of the CYPM. This brief is the second in a series that addresses various important issues faced by those crossover youth who are dually-involved and the systems that serve them.
Behavioral health issues, which include mental health and substance use disorders, can significantly challenge the safety and well-being of youth and their families. These risks may be particularly elevated for crossover youth. Due to the potential long-term impact of adolescent behavioral health issues on development and social functioning, it is in the interest of policy-makers and practitioners to monitor and address the behavioral health status of youths in these systems (Keller et al., 2010). In order to assist child-serving practitioners in these efforts, this issue brief will discuss: the relationship between behavioral health and crossover youth, the ways in which the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM) addresses behavioral health, and how one jurisdiction has utilized the CYPM to address behavioral health outcomes. This brief is the first in a series that addresses various important issues faced by crossover youth and the systems that serve them.