National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Supporting Youth in Transition to Adulthood: Lessons Learned from Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice

Altschuler, D.,
Stangler, G.,
Berkley, K.,
Burton, L.
Paper/Research Report
Year Published: 2009
The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform
The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform

The authors of this 58-page paper discuss the successes and challenges that juvenile justice and child welfare agencies face in preparing the youth they serve for a successful adulthood. The authors describe assessment, case management, and other practices implemented in either system that have shown promise in improving outcomes for the transition-age population. They also highlight organizational and legislative changes that have positioned these agencies to provide effective, individualized, and developmentally appropriate services to older youth and their families. This paper is aspirational as well as descriptive. The authors analyze how best practices from one agency may be implemented in another, and apply current research and evaluation in its recommendations for further reforms that will help public agencies prepare at-risk youth for a successful future. They assert that the first step in achieving these goals is recognizing that child welfare and juvenile justice youth, regardless of their experiences or past actions, need the same support as other young adults making their place in the world. Modified Author Abstract.

Center for Juvenile Justice Reform Georgetown Public Policy Institute Georgetown University Box 571444 3300 Whitehaven Street, NW, Suite 5000 Washington, D.C. 20007; Telephone: (202) 687-7657; Email: <>; Website:
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