Strengthening Our Future: Key Elements to Developing a Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice Diversion Program for Youth with Behavioral Health Conditions was developed in 2016 by the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice at Policy Research Associates, Inc. and the Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc. This report, developed as part of the 2014-2015 Policy Academy-Action Network Initiative, presents the current understanding of child trauma in the context of juvenile justice, identifies nine implementation domains essential to achieving a trauma-informed juvenile justice diversion approach, and highlights case examples from each of the 2014-2015 Policy Academy-Action Network states (Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Tennessee).

This report offers a description of a trauma-informed juvenile justice diversion approach with examples of how some states are beginning to address and implement trauma-informed systems of care for youth and their families. It begins with a discussion of trauma and its effects on youth, especially those with behavioral health conditions. This is followed by a discussion of the types of trauma-related disorders, the behavioral manifestations of trauma that youth may display, and a summary of factors that affect the severity of trauma-related disorders. The report then describes nine key elements of a trauma-informed approach within the context of juvenile justice diversion. Case examples are included from each of the states participating in the 2014-15 Policy Academy–Action Network Initiative.

  • Associated Mappings:
    • Critical Intervention Mapping for Youth

This resource was first shared in 2016.