Resolution Addressing the Needs of Homeless Youth and Families in Juvenile and Family Courts
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) passed a resolution during the organization’s 80th annual conference in Washington, D.C. to address the needs and issues related to homeless youth and families involved with the juvenile and family court systems. The resolution outlines strategies for judges to better serve young people experiencing homelessness and opposes the criminalization of youth for status offenses related to their lack of safe and stable housing. Juvenile and family court judges can lead the effort within their jurisdictions to improve the outcomes of youth with safe and stable housing, substance abuse and mental health services, life skills counseling, and family reunification when deemed appropriate. The resolution provides concrete steps for judges to convene child welfare and juvenile justice system stakeholders to develop a coordinated response to effectively identify and secure housing and services for homeless youth.