Childhood maltreatment is often a strong indicator for future juvenile justice involvement for any youth; however, female youth are particularly vulnerable. Though the population of female youth involved in the delinquency system is often smaller than that of males, a disproportionately high number of these young women are dually involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Despite their increased need for more intensive services and coordinated case planning, dually-involved female youth frequently slip through the cracks and ultimately do not receive the support they need from either system.
To better understand and appropriately address the unique experiences and service needs of Maryland’s dually-involved female youth, Advocates for Children and Youth has interviewed 20 young women with prior involvement in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This paper will present the results of the interviews and make several recommendations for how to better serve this population.