As a collective impact initiative working to systematically improve the lives of youth involved in both juvenile justice and child welfare systems, HCYC understands the power of collective knowledge from practitioners across the State of Texas. HCYC is working with Georgetown's Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) to adapt the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM) to Harris County. While CJJR began working with HCYC in February 2017, they have worked across the state to implement The Crossover Youth Practice Model in five jurisdictions statewide. Travis County started their Crossover Court in February 2012. Bexar County began the planning processes in 2012 and implemented their Crossover Court in January 2013. The HCYC inter-agency team (HCYC staff, HCJPD staff, and DFPS staff) were eager to learn about the success in these counties and visited them in July 2017.
Each county manages a single docket in a specialty Crossover Court. One judge presides over both the dependency and delinquency hearings. Child welfare (DFPS) and juvenile justice (JPs) systems have dedicated crossover teams. These teams are in constant communication and have shared responsibilities, such as monthly co-visits with youth and a shared service plan that fits the needs of the child without duplicating services. Besides the special teams within DFPS and JP, both communities have designated prosecutors and DFPS attorneys to represent the County and State, specialized defense and ad litem attorneys representing the youth and specially
trained court-appointed special advocates (CASA).
Harris County gained immense insight into creating well connected systems from our Texas partners. We look forward to ongoing partnership as we build the practice model for Dual Status Youth in Harris County. DFPS and HCJPD are developing their team approach and methodology for early identification within the Harris County Youth Collective. Our teams begin implementation in May 2018. We are eager to see the impact we can make in the lives of dual status youth with this model.