Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The Role of Family Engagement in Creating Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice Systems

"The need for trauma-informed juvenile justice systems to recognize and respond to trauma as it affects caregivers, to act in collaboration with all those who are involved with the child, to make resources available, to address family trauma and strengthen family resilience ... makes it absolutely critical that such a system partner with families. It is only through fully embracing family engagement that a juvenile justice system can become a truly trauma-informed system. Family partnership is the means through which the necessary relationships can be built, and through which policies, practices, and agency culture can be shifted to create a trauma-informed system" (p. 2). Sections cover: what family engagement is; why family engagement is a key element in trauma-informed juvenile justice; how family engagement supports a more trauma-informed juvenile justice system and vice versa; what a trauma-informed juvenile justice system that embraces family engagement looks like; SAMSHA key principles of trauma-informed approach and related applications for family involvement in juvenile justice systems; the challenges to family engagement in juvenile justice; recommendations to address these challenges; transformational bright spots.