This report presents the strategies and solutions for serving the youngest victims of the nation's opioid crisis that were proposed and discussed at a national meeting of multidisciplinary teams and experts on December 4-5, 2019.
The meeting was hosted by the U.S. Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). It was attended by about 250 persons from all levels of government; various types of communities; and specialists in the fields of victim services, public health, and justice (including juvenile justice). The intent of the meeting was to share innovations and best practices, leverage strategies and resources, and seek solutions through presentations and peer engagements. This report presents summaries, key themes, and lessons learned in each of multiple sessions with a variety of themes related to the needs of and services for children and youth harmed by the opioid crisis. Among the topics discussed were 1) the advancement of a common understanding of core topics that are keys to effective programming for these youth; 2) taking into account culture and diversity; 3) empowering parents, caregivers, and families; 4) identification of and engagement with young victims; 5) leadership and supervision; 6) grants management; 7) bridging and forging strong partnerships; 8) data, analysis, and evaluation; 9) sustaining the work; and 10) preservation and wellness for professionals.