Illinois Dually-Involved Youth PFS Initiative

The Problem

Illinois youth who are dually involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems face poor outcomes. Three-fourths of these youth are not living with a parent or relative, and few will be reunified with their biological family or be adopted. More than half recidivate to the juvenile justice system within two years. Furthermore, many struggle with substance abuse, traumatic stress, and self-harm. These young people frequently cycle in and out of expensive residential treatment centers, detention centers, and group homes.

The Basics

Location: Illinois

Policy Area: Child Welfare and Justice Systems

Service Provider: Conscience Community Network, LLC (CCN)

Size of investment: $16.4 million

Maximum success payments possible: $21.3 million

Investors: Laura and John Arnold Foundation; Nonprofit Finance Fund (through a grant from Social Innovation Fund); Living Cities in partnership with The Chicago Community Trust; Conscience Community Network, LLC; Dunham Fund; and a grant from the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission

Other partners: Chapman & Cutler, LLP, and Orrick, Herrington, and Sutcliffe, LLP (Legal Counsel); Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab (Government Advisor); Third Sector Capital Partners (Transaction Coordinator)

Evaluator: University of Michigan School of Social Work

Evaluation methodology: Randomized Controlled Trial

Outcome payor: Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

Outcomes that yield payments: 25% reduction in congregate care days; 25% reduction in detention and incarceration days; and 70% achievement of outcomes in educational attainment, placement stability, and program fidelity

Timeframe: 7.5 years

Date announced: November 2016

The Intervention

Intervention: Conscience Community Network (CCN) will be offering a comprehensive set of wraparound services to about 800 youth. The initiative will address notification delays and jurisdictional gaps between the child welfare and criminal justice systems by rapidly identifying and referring youth to services through multiple pathways. Caseworkers and therapists from both systems will participate in integrated case planning and joint assessment of patients. Instead of reacting to a crisis or placement instability, CCN will intervene early to prevent high-risk youth from becoming involved in the criminal justice system.

Evidence base behind the intervention: CCN will implement the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM). Multiple institutions have evaluated the CYPM, and each analysis has demonstrated the effectiveness of the model. CYPM has been shown to achieve an overall reduction in recidivism, an increase in cases being dismissed or diverted, an improvement in crossover youth living at home, a reduction in detention and congregate care, and an improvement in pro-social behavior. A recent evaluation of the model in an urban county showed youth receiving CYPM services were less likely to recidivate than youth receiving “services as usual.” CCN will also offer Treatment Foster Care of Oregon (TFCO), which is rated a “top tier” social program by the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy. Two randomized controlled trials show a reduction in criminal referrals and days in locked settings for girls, and promising reductions in criminal activity for boys. Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT) will also be provided, which has been rated highly by the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare.