Over a hundred social workers, case managers, CASA volunteers, probation officers, and child welfare advocates attended the 4th Annual Child Welfare Conference on November 16th, 2016. Organized by the School of Social Work’s Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing, this conference gives practitioners, researchers and advocates a chance to network and learn specific skills and concepts they can use in their work with children and families.
This year’s conference focused on strategies to help high-risk youth who are involved in both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, and who are known as crossover youth.
Judge Lisa K. Jarret, of 436th District Court in Bexar County, presented the Crossover Youth Practice Model, which address the unique needs of youth who fluctuate between and are known to the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Originally developed by the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and Casey Family Programs, this model has been implemented in 96 counties across 21 states.
Conference panelists covered topics such as trauma-informed training for staff in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, and the difficulties to find non-detention, home-based placements for youth in Travis County. The conference also included breakout sessions that explored particular faces of crossover youth, including racial inequity; the influence of mental health, trauma, and social control on outcomes; and sexual abuse.