Young People with Dual System Involvement: Investigating Intersections Between the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems in Los Angeles County


The goal of this project is to develop new knowledge about experiences of young people who have contact with child welfare and juvenile justice systems by onboarding, linking, and analyzing juvenile delinquency court and child protection system records from Los Angeles County.

Overview of Findings

The findings from the Los Angeles (LA) Dual System studies revealed that nearly two-thirds of youth in the LA County juvenile justice system had prior involvement with the Child Protection System (CPS). Our research also demonstrated that 5% of young people who had contact with the CPS later go on to experience dual system involvement. Our research highlights variability in the rate of dual system involvement by demographic characteristics and CPS experiences. This work underscores that while differences in gender and race/ethnicity emerge for all young people with CPS involvement, these differences are even more pronounced for young people with dual system involvement. Further, the relationship between CPS and dual system involvement reinforces the importance of service coordination for adolescents and families with a history of maltreatment or family disruptions. Importantly, the findings underscore the need for a delinquency prevention continuum that begins in the community and continues through various stages of child welfare and juvenile justice system involvement. The dissemination of these findings (through peer reviewed publications, policy briefs, slide decks, and presentations) has facilitated conversations about strategies to reduce dual system involvement with agencies in Los Angeles.


1150 South Olive Street, Suite 1400
Los Angeles, CA 90015
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