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April 2016Vol. 17, No. 2Out-of-Home Placement and Crossover Youth

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at Georgetown University published a policy brief looking at the effect of out-of-home placement (OOHP) on youth involved with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The brief specifically considers the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM) as a means to improve outcomes for youth involved in both systems, or "crossover" youth. A research- and strength-based approach, CYPM aims to help child welfare, juvenile justice, and related agencies and professionals in implementing policies and practices that better target the needs of crossover youth.

The brief examines the relationship between delinquent behavior and OOHP and how professionals can identify and serve those most at risk of becoming involved with the juvenile justice system. Key topics addressed include the following:

  • The role of OOHP in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems and the importance of reducing their inappropriate use
  • The relationship between OOHPs and delinquency
  • The "child welfare bias" that a youth with child welfare system history may face upon contact with the juvenile justice system
  • The ways in which the CYPM addresses OOHP
  • How one jurisdiction has addressed OOHP through the implementation of the CYPM

The brief suggests OOHP may be overused, and that other more cost-effective and potentially successful options should be investigated. Because OOHP is associated with a higher rate of delinquency, the CYPM calls for an early emphasis on prevention and intervention to keep youth with their family of origin. When placement with the family is not an option, the CYPM suggests first exploring kin placement with ample training and supports, and then foster care as the next most promising option.

Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM) in Brief: Out-of-Home Placements and Crossover Youth, by Karen M. Koviloski, Elizabeth Barnett, and Samuel Abbott, is available at (839 KB).