Collaboration resource

New Funds for Work: Connecting Systems for Justice-Involved Youth

January 18, 2018

Two National Assembly members, the National Youth Employment Coalition and Youth Advocate Programs, recently published a new report, “New Funds for Work:  Connecting Systems for Justice-Involved Young People.” The report stems from a convening of juvenile justice and workforce administrators from around the country and includes their recommendations for how to cultivate cross-system collaboration to better serve justice-involved youth, including through new WIOA dollars. In 2014, the WIOA was enacted into law, which increased the percentage of youth service dollars local workforce development boards must spend on out-of-school youth from 30% to 75%. This shifted the WIOA youth program from a program directed mainly at in-school youth to one targeting disconnected youth, including youth “subject to the juvenile justice system.” The report contains recommendations and insights into how to serve more justice-involved youth through both systems in a way that grows their future economic opportunities and recognizes developmental stages. Some recommendations include encouraging systems to allow for multiple awakenings, not being afraid of failures, assuming acceptable risks, and balancing narratives of young people. This report was funded through a generous grant by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.