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Highlights: At the Intersection of Child Welfare and Juvenile Legal System Involvement: Research Strategies for Policy and Practice Change

June 10, 2024 | Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab and Evident Change

This “highlights” document summarizes findings and recommendations from “At the Intersection of Child Welfare and Juvenile Legal System Involvement: Research Strategies for Policy and Practice Change” by Evident Change and the Juvenile Justice Research and Reform (JJR&R) Lab at Drexel University. The brief contains a link to the full paper. To remedy the persistent separation of the child welfare and juvenile justice systems in research and reform efforts, in November 2023 Evident Change and the JJR&R Lab hosted a convening of researchers, practitioners, individuals with lived experience of system involvement, and funders with the goal of creating a strategic research agenda to address dual-system involvement of youth. “At the Intersection of Child Welfare and Juvenile Legal System Involvement: Research Strategies for Policy and Practice Change” memorializes the collaboration, including themes, recommendations, and guidance on next steps to advance understanding and practice. The convening, brief, and paper were generously supported by the William T. Grant Foundation and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.

At the Intersection of Child Welfare and Juvenile Legal System Involvement: Research Strategies for Policy and Practice Change

June 6, 2024 | Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab and Evident Change

“At the Intersection of Child Welfare and Juvenile Legal System Involvement: Research Strategies for Policy and Practice Change” by Evident Change and the Juvenile Justice Research and Reform (JJR&R) Lab at Drexel University shares a research agenda designed to close gaps between the child welfare and juvenile legal system and prevent dual-system involvement, with guidance for practitioners, researchers, funders, and more.

To remedy the persistent separation of the child welfare and juvenile legal systems in research and reform efforts, in November 2023 Evident Change and the JJR&R Lab hosted a convening of researchers, practitioners, individuals with lived experience of system involvement, and funders. The resulting paper, “At the Intersection of Child Welfare and Juvenile Legal System Involvement: Research Strategies for Policy and Practice Change,” memorializes this collaboration, including themes, recommendations, and guidance on next steps to advance understanding and practice.

The convening, brief, and paper were generously supported by the William T. Grant Foundation and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.


Over 15 Years of Creating Innovative Solutions to Gun Violence

October 2, 2023 | Caroline Glesmann

This report provides an overview of efforts led by the City of Richmond, California Office of Neighborhood Safety to reduce gun violence in the city. ONS, which began operating in 2007, intervenes and engages with youth and young adults identified as most likely to commit acts of gun violence and/or be victims of gun violence, and it supports these individuals with intensive mentoring and connection to services. ONS also provides prevention services to young people at risk of involvement in gun violence.


Dallas County Juvenile Justice Case Disposition Process Evaluation

March 14, 2023 | Evident Change

In examining Dallas County’s rate of time to disposition for juvenile cases, the Office of the Dallas County District Attorney examined data from the Texas Office of Court Administration and discovered that the time-to-disposition rate for juvenile cases within the county was slower compared with other urban counties across the state. In addition, the rates were much slower than the national standard set by the Model Time Standards established by the Conference of State Court Administrators, Conference of Chief Justices, American Bar Association House of Delegates, and the National Association for Court Management.


What Can Hurt (and Help) Decision Making in Older Adulthood

December 12, 2022 | Evident Change

Age-related declines in decision making in older adulthood are well-documented, and they can harm the financial, physical, and psychological health of older adults. Because of this, gaining insights into what can protect them against (or make them vulnerable to) poor decision making is important.

This webinar, which summarizes recent research findings from Rush University Medical Center, examines the factors that can affect the quality of financial- and health care-related decision making of older adults and their susceptibility to scams. The presentation will also discuss the implications of the findings for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. (Materials: slide presentation)

Presenters:

Olivia M. Valdes is a senior research analyst for the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. In this role, she leads and conducts research projects to better understand and advance the financial well-being of adults in the United States. Valdes earned her BA from the University of South Florida and her PhD in experimental psychology from Florida Atlantic University.

Patricia Boyle is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and a neuropsychologist with the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago. Boyle earned her PhD from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University. Her research focuses on the prevention of cognitive and functional decline in old age.


New Hampshire Child Welfare SDM® Risk Validation Study Report

October 10, 2022 | Evident Change

In 2019, the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) partnered with Evident Change to update their current suite of Structured Decision Making® (SDM) assessments. The goal of this study was to examine how the current risk assessment is performing across three SDM® principles of utility, accuracy, and equity. This risk validation study used a participatory approach, where a steering committee composed of agency leadership, agency supervisors, agency line staff, and staff from community partner agencies engaged in the process in partnership with DCYF and Evident Change. The steering committee was responsible for reviewing the validation analytics, vetting the analytics in relation to local practice, and ensuring that the resultant risk assessment was the most appropriate for use by DCYF staff with New Hampshire families.


Research Brief: New Hampshire Child Welfare Participatory SDM® Risk Validation Study

October 10, 2022 | Evident Change

In 2020, Evident Change and the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) used a collaborative, stakeholder-informed approach to conduct a participatory risk validation of the Structured Decision Making® (SDM) risk assessment.

This research brief shares highlights of participatory SDM® risk assessment validation process and a few key data considerations. A full report documents the entire research effort, study sample, research methods, and consensus-building process, while an accompanying case study shares more information on the collaborative process.


Case Study: Participatory SDM® Risk Validation in New Hampshire

October 10, 2022 | Andrea Bogie, Cayley Farrell, Chris Scharenbroch, Erin Wicke Dankert, MSW, Sierra Fischer

Growing knowledge about the limitations and potentially negative impact of using data-driven applications such as risk assessments has led research teams to create a more inclusive process for understanding the trade-offs in risk assessment implementation and validation. Evident Change and the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families used a collaborative, stakeholder-informed approach to conduct a participatory risk validation of the Structured Decision Making® (SDM) risk assessment in early 2020. This approach borrows principles of human-centered design and action research to center attention on those who are most impacted, to seek action to improve practice, and to study the effect of a practice improvement. Including and trusting impacted individuals and communities has been shown to increase empathy, generate new ideas, and be necessary to promote equity in implementation science.


Family Visit Coaching: Outcomes After Reunification

August 15, 2022 | Evident Change

A recent Evident Change study found that parents who completed Family Visit Coaching (FVC) services had fewer incidences of substantiated abuse or neglect after reunification compared to a control group. The analysis showed that FVC was effective at reducing substantiations after reunification. Previous FVC research indicated that parents improved their parenting skills during FVC services and that they viewed the program positively.


Provider Outreach Guide

August 12, 2022 | Evident Change

A new tool guides justice system agencies in creating a more well-rounded service array to meet the needs of the people they serve. Many individuals who have been impacted by the juvenile and/or criminal justice systems have unaddressed needs and traumas. These needs often lead them to—and keep them in—a cycle of justice system involvement. This guide was created to help agencies make strong community and cross‑system connections that will ultimately improve the way people are treated and served.