Implementation of the Practice Model

Case Practice

The target population for the Model is crossover or dually-involved youth who have current and simultaneous involvement in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems in the following ways:

  • Youth initially involved in the child welfare system who are subsequently referred to and become involved in the juvenile justice system; and
  • Youth who are initially involved in the juvenile justice system and are subsequently referred to and become involved in the child welfare system because of suspicions of abuse/neglect in the home.

Implementation of the Model will result in a collaborative case management structure that ensures active engagement of youth, families, and all stakeholders involved in a youth’s case. The Model is structured in phases that align with the trajectory of a youth crossing over from child welfare to the juvenile justice system, as this is the most common pathway traveled by crossover youth. 

Phase I:

Arrest, Identification, and Detention addresses the handling of a case beginning with the point of arrest. The protocols developed in partnership with the jurisdiction will outline a process for identifying crossover youth (detained or non-detained) at the earliest point possible in the case and establish cross-system collaboration at the front-end of system engagement. It also emphasizes the early engagement of family and immediate information sharing for the purposes of case planning and support for the youth.  

Decision-making Regarding Charges addresses the need for a cross-system team approach when a youth, who is already involved in the child welfare system, has been arrested and the decision is underway to file and refer the case to the court or divert the case from the juvenile justice system. It further emphasizes the inclusion of the family at all decision-points.

Phase II:

Joint Assessment Process and Coordinated Case Planning explores case assignment across the systems for court processing, exploration of court docketing options, and utilization of collaborative joint assessment and coordinated case planning processes across systems. The emphasis in this phase is on a variety of case management functions to be performed in a collective manner.

Phase III:

Coordinated Case Management and Ongoing Assessment builds on the interagency case planning capacity created in Phase II. It strengthens the use of a cross-systems approach in working with families, improves educational and behavioral health supports provided across the two systems, and enhances community engagement.

Planning for Youth Permanency, Transition, and Case Closure focuses on permanency and case closure. It enhances the long-term planning that occurs throughout the case thus improving outcomes for crossover youth. It also stresses the importance of engaging community supports in order to ensure a safe transition from the system for all youth.   

Data Collection

Data collection is an important element of the CYPM and a requirement for the California jurisdiction selected for this opportunity. Specifically, the selected site will be required to provide aggregate data from its existing child welfare and juvenile justice information systems (e.g., number of active cases in child welfare during a given time period) as well as conduct data collection on specific crossover youth cases. Data collection supports jurisdictions in understanding how their systems serve crossover youth prior to the Model’s implementation and assessing how the site is impacting system- and youth-level outcomes after implementation.

We recognize that collecting shared datasets will likely present a challenge for the selected site. However, those sites applying to participate in the Model must have the electronic or manual ability to collect data across systems or be committed to doing so. If there exist any barriers to accessing data, we ask that the site begin working on alleviating those barriers immediately upon notification of its acceptance.  The data to be collected as part of the CYPM includes:

  • Baseline Data Snapshot
  • Target Population Youth Data
    • Pre-CYPM Youth – Initial point of crossover and at 9 months
    •  CYPM Youth – Initial point of crossover and at 9 months

Baseline Data

The Baseline Data Snapshot is used to provide context and to serve as a reference point for data that are collected later. This data includes demographic information for the general population of a jurisdiction (e.g., youth ages 10-17), as well as aggregate data for all active cases in the jurisdiction’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems, respectively, on a selected date.

Target Population Data

Target Population Data involves data collection on individual youth in two groups. The first are historical cases, or those that took place prior to CYPM implementation, and are referred to as “Pre-CYPM Youth.” The second set derives from those individuals who experience the systems after CYPM implementation and are coined the “CYPM Youth.” The purpose of gathering data on both of these groups is to determine whether the Model is eliciting desired outcomes (e.g., lower recidivism rates, increased prosocial involvement, placement stability, etc.) through changes in practices among those young people who are exposed to the Model. 

The jurisdiction will define the specifics for which youth fit their target population definition. A historical 6-month window is identified for the Pre-CYPM Youth, and individual data are collected for those who meet the target population parameters beginning with their identification as crossover youth, as well as 9 months afterwards. Once a jurisdiction identifies a launch date for the CYPM, data collection for the CYPM Youth begins. As with the Pre-CYPM group, a 6-month window is identified (which commences at implementation) in which data is collected on all youth who meet the target population at the same two time points: identification as a crossover youth and 9 months afterwards. Data are collected on variables that include a youth’s child welfare and juvenile justice system experiences, as well as information related to education, behavioral health, and involvement in pro-social activities.

CJJR will provide technical assistance (TA) support for data collection, cleaning, analysis, and application of outcomes to practice.