Dual Jurisdiction Youth or Crossover Kids

Child-serving systems include but are not limited to education, public health, mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, and the courts. These "systems" include government agencies, private nonprofit organizations, foundations and charitable organizations, a variety of professional and volunteers, and community members. Many children who are court-involved or at high risk of being victimized or committing a crime are involved with more than one system.

The Barton Center has a multi-disciplinary approach to children and families, and we use a holistic model of representation for our child clients. We know that the financial and jurisdictional boundaries created by systems do not constrain families to a single system but instead create artificial barriers to families and children being appropriately served. Our goals include helping children receive the services they need regardless of the "system" they are in and helping to create systems that serve the whole child.

Dual jurisdiction youth is a term often used to describe children and youth who are involved with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Crossover youth is another commonly used term because the youth enter into one system (i.e. enter foster care because of abuse) and cross over into the other system (i.e. committing a delinquent act while in foster care).

The Barton Center's Appeal for Youth Clinic works with dual jurisdiction youth in a variety of capacities. The Barton Center's advocacy work for dual jurisdiction youth has included a focus on youth who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation, youth accused of committing status offenses, and homeless and runaway youth.

Learn more about our representation of dual jurisdiction youth and read some of our clients' stories.


Children in Need of Services (CHINS):  A New Framework for Status Offenders
Author: Roshal Erskine
Publisher: Barton Child Law and Policy Center, Emory Law School, 2010

Crossover or Dual Jurisdiction Youth
Authors: Mary Hermann and Karen Worthington
Publisher: Barton Child Law and Policy Center, Emory Law School, 2010

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Georgia: Service Delivery and Legislative Recommendations for State and Local Policy Makers
Authors: Darlene Lynch and Kirsten Widner
Publisher: Barton Child Law and Policy Center, Emory Law School, 2008

The exploitation of children through prostitution is big business in Atlanta, and changing that situation was a priority during Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin’s terms in office. In 2005, the Mayor’s office published a paper titled Hidden In Plain View which explained the problem of commercial sexual exploitation of young girls in Atlanta, brought the importance of addressing the issue home by providing stories of real victims, and identified Atlanta’s strengths and areas of need related to this problem. This 2008 paper builds on that foundation, and expands the scope to include all child victims, including boys, across Georgia. It examines approaches taken by other jurisdictions to address the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and makes legislative and policy recommendations for addressing the problem in Georgia.

Secure Detention of Status Offenders: A Research-Based Policy Response to the Georgia General Assembly
Authors: Darlene Lynch, Randee Waldman, Karen Worthington
Publisher: Barton Child Law and Policy Center, Emory Law School, 2008

This policy paper outlines simple legislative approaches that would ensure Georgia's compliance with the federal mandate of reducing the secure detention of status offenders. These recommended changes would better serve Georgia's children by improving practices in the juvenile justice system and moving children out of locked facilities and into the treatment and rehabilitation services they need. In addition, the changes would help Georgia avoid potential federal penalties for non-compliance with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act's deinstitutionalization mandate.

Fact sheet: Georgia’s Secure Detention of Status Offenders: Ensuring Georgia’s Compliance with Federal Law to Better Serve Georgia’s Children

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