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Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth Guiding Principles

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2016
4 pages
Although not exhaustive, these principles provide guidance for service providers in their efforts to link systems of care for youth and children exposed to violence, as well as for their families.
These guiding principles set a benchmark for conducting needs assessments and developing policies and protocols. The focus is on the work of community collaboratives as they shape, inform, and review services and referrals intended to address the needs of children and youth exposed to violence. The principles focus on linking systems of care that facilitate the healing of individuals, families, and communities exposed to violence so they experience safety, justice, and the opportunity to make positive social-emotional connections and achieve self-determination. Community collaboratives should structure opportunities for these experiences to occur by ensuring that healing interventions are accessible, trauma-informed, strength-based, individualized, gender-based, and culturally responsive. Parents and caregivers should be offered coordinated treatment that addresses their own trauma histories and their reactions to their child's traumatic experiences. Further, collaboratives should ensure that all systems of care are connected and aspire to a collective impact based in communication, collaboration, and coordination. These efforts can be facilitated by clarifying roles, creating a common vocabulary related to goals and outcomes, sharing information to avoid duplication, leveraging resources, and creating mutually informed policy agendas. Other principles address informed decisionmaking and the overarching values that should inform the work.

Date Published: December 1, 2016