Many youth in the juvenile justice system have experienced maltreatment prior to their teenage years. Many of the families of these youth are involved with child protective services by the time a youth reaches the age of 6. By the age of 12, the youth has been referred to a department of juvenile services for a variety of acts of law breaking. In order to change that pattern there must be supports and services for the entire family not just the youth that broke the laws of the community. The methods to accomplish this will require changes in how we adjudicate these youth by helping parents improve their parenting skills with services for parent trauma, developmental skill building, mental illness and substance abuse.
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