Addressing the Unmet Educational Needs of Children and Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems

“This monograph is primarily designed as a source of information for policymakers and practitioners concerned about the abysmal state of education services for two groups of vulnerable youth, some of whom begin contact in one social service system—child welfare—and subsequently come into contact with another youth agency—the juvenile justice system. In the sections that follow, we discuss the characteristics of these youth, barriers to providing effective services, as well as legislation and evidence-based strategies intended to improve their educational outcomes. We also examine challenges faced by crossover youth and the policies and practices of several jurisdictions that have attempted to meet the unique needs of and circumstances faced by these youth. We conclude with a discussion of principles and the design of systems to serve these youth and ensure they experience more positive outcomes in school and ultimately, in the community as young adults.”