This brief explores ways in which communities can financially sustain the efforts they have in place to meet the needs of youth in contact with the juvenile justice system after an initial funding period has ended. This resource is intended to support the planning and implementation of effective services, policies, and practices that improve outcomes for children, youth, and young adults involved or at risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system as well as their families.

Collaborative sustainability planning is essential for systems of care whose programs will eventually have to make the transition from grant funds to alternative sources of funding. This planning should start early and involve representatives from all child‐serving systems involved with the system of care to ensure that a broad range of transitional options are considered. For systems of care that serve youth in contact with the juvenile justice system, sustainability planning should include a review of available federal, state, local, and private juvenile justice funding streams that could be accessed to secure program continuation.

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 2010.

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