ACS recognizes that young people who are involved in both the child welfare and the justice systems have unique service needs and require special attention to their cases.
What is a crossover youth?
A crossover youth is a young person who is involved in both the child welfare and the justice systems.
There are many agencies involved in a crossover youth’s life, including:
The foster care agency
The Department of Probation
The Department of Education
The court system
Crossover youth generally require more intense services and supports. At the same time, the coordination of services among the many agencies poses unique challenges. By identifying these youth, we can work better with our partners to advocate for them in court.
What is the Confirm Unit?
Confirm is a specialized unit at ACS that identifies and monitors Crossover Youth. Confirm screens youth who have been arrested and notifies case planners already working with the families so that they can respond to the youth’s and families’ needs. Confirm staff are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to respond to questions from both child welfare staff and justice professionals. They are trained in both systems, and can help staff navigate the other system and can help facilitate communication between the two systems.
When a youth is arrested, ACS’ Confirm Unit checks databases to see whether the youth’s family also has child welfare involvement.
Once Confirm identifies a crossover youth, it reaches out to City and provider agencies responsible for planning to make sure that staff appear in court and advocate for the youth.
What is the Crossover Youth Practice Model?
ACS is an active participant in the citywide Crossover Youth Practice Model which has helped to identify and serve young people to improve their service delivery and outcomes. The Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM) is an approach aimed at improving the outcomes for crossover youth.
The CYPM model allows agencies working with the youth to share information and collaborate. The sharing of information among agencies makes it easier for the agencies to work together to manage the youth’s case and better address their needs.
What are the stages of the CYPM?
A youth is confirmed as a crossover youth
ACS will ask parents/guardians to sign consents for sharing information.
An adjustment conference is held for the youth. At the conference, the Department of Probation will decide whether to refer the case for prosecution or whether any services can be put in place to prevent the case from being filed in Family Court. The youth, their attorney, parent/guardian, social workers, and other resources are invited to provide input at the conference.
The child welfare and juvenile justice agencies will plan and coordinate services together on an ongoing basis to address the needs of the youth and the family throughout the case.
Why should I sign consents for the agencies to share information about my child?
CYPM helps the crossover youth by sharing information between agencies, but the agencies can only share this information with the guardian’s consent. You should always discuss this with your attorney if you have one before signing any consent. Sharing information can:
Reduce your child’s further involvement in the juvenile justice system
Increase the chances of the case being diverted by probation. This means that your child will be supervised by probation instead of being prosecuted in the Family Court. As long as your child complies with probation during the period of supervision, your child can avoid going to court or having a delinquency record
Improve the chances that your child will be put in a community-based alternative program instead of juvenile detention or placement with ACS