New tool explores family partnership for juvenile justice professionals

November 19, 2019

ITR’s Center for Resilient Families has released a new guide to family partnership for juvenile justice professionals.

Center for Resilient Families is housed within the Institute for Translational Research in Children’s Mental Health at the University of Minnesota. It is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration with the mission of improving mental health outcomes for children exposed to traumatic stress by working with parents. Learn more at

About the tool

There is a growing awareness in the juvenile justice field about the importance of partnering with families, both to improve outcomes for kids, as well as to improve the effectiveness and job satisfaction of juvenile justice professionals. 

 “Family partnership” is an approach to juvenile justice that views families as an untapped resource for understanding and reaching the youth we serve — part of the solution, not the problem. Partnering with a family means building a team to share in the challenges and triumphs of helping youth overcome their challenges and become socially responsible citizens. 

This tool is a brief, practical, and realistic look at the potential benefits of family partnership, and real-world examples of ways that organizations have begun to put these ideas in action. By taking steps to build greater partnerships with families, professionals can better accomplish what they got into the field to do, share the time and psychological burden of the job, and improve outcomes for the kids they serve. 

This tool was produced as a collaboration between the National Child Traumatic Stress Network‘s Partnering with Youth and Families and Justice Consortium committees and the Center for Resilient Families at the University of Minnesota. It was produced with input from front-line juvenile justice professionals, families with experience in the system, agency leaders, and academic experts.