Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Supporting Youth In Transition: Lessons Learned from Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice

As much as I love the topic, rarely do I find that a paper on youth transitions to adulthood is a page turner. Yet the new paper from Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and Casey Youth Opportunities,
Supporting Youth in Transition to Adulthood: Lessons Learned from Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice is exactly that.

The authors do a marvelous job as juxtapositioning the two systems while also highlighting how each of the juggles competing goals. The final set of recommendations are clearly organized and concise. The systems are put into historical context with anecdotes and markers when the large policy shifts took place.

I was left thinking that we really need legislation that requires education systems to participate with child welfare and juvenile justice so that the state can fully fulfill its obligations once it takes responsibility for a child. Furthermore, we need as thoughtful a piece written about the education system's response to children and how we juggle the same values of punishment, safety, and well-being within the education system itself. Yet, the education system brings another element which is the constant decision-making that directs resources to some children and not to others.

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