Family Engagement and Involvement: Strategic Innovations from the Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Action Network provided an update and summary on the Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Action Network’s strategic innovation group (SIG) projects undertaken by eight states centered around family engagement. For these family engagement centered SIG projects, the Action Network identified these important areas of focus: training juvenile justice staff, empowering families, and adapting an existing parent advocacy curriculum.

This document then breaks down each area of focus and describes practices implemented and outcomes for each state in that focus area. Not all states participate each area, but each area of focus had several states work in that area. Pennsylvania, Texas, and Ohio all worked to promote the issue of family involvement within juvenile justice systems. Washington and Illinois focused their efforts on empowering and educating family members and youth to become more knowledgeable about the juvenile justice system and about mental health services available to youth involved with the juvenile justice system. And lastly, Colorado, Connecticut, and Louisiana focused on adapting, implementing, and evaluating the Parent Empowerment Program (PEP) Model for Juvenile Justice systems in their states.

The National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice (NCYOJ) originally developed and maintained this resource. The NCYOJ was operated by Policy Research, Inc. and operated from 2001 to 2022 and was formerly known as the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. The NCYOJ improved life opportunities for youth through systems and practice improvement initiatives.

This resource should be viewed as a reference document. It has not been updated since its publication. In addition, this document has not been made 508 compliant. If you would like a 508 compliant version of this document, please email

This resource was first shared in 2012.

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