The Youth Justice Work Group comprises regional and national grantmakers who support policies, practices, programs and advocacy that promote fair, effective and age-appropriate treatment and interventions for youth involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. We work across the intersections of justice, education, foster care, human services, workforce development, and health. Our goal is to help nonprofits and governments at the federal, state and local levels improve young people’s chances of becoming successful and productive adults, thereby improving community safety.

From the Field

COVID-19 Well-Being Toolkit

The Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has shared a well-being toolkit which identifies resources which can serve as a support to us all during this challenging time for our world.  The toolkit includes well-being tips, suggestions on how to talk to children and youth, meditations and resources for educators.  

New Grassroots Campaign to Educate Lawmakers on Childhood Trauma

On February 11, the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) announced the launch of a National Trauma Campaign calling for federal action to prevent and address childhood trauma and build resilience. The Campaign is designed to support local and state leaders in opening a line of regular communication with Congressional offices about trauma issues, including: evidence on theRead More

State Financial Aid Barriers for Students Impacted by the Justice System

The Education Commission of the States recently released a policy outline that provides an overview of state financial aid access for students enrolled in prison postsecondary education programs or students with prior criminal convictions who are enrolled in postsecondary education outside of prison. The outline also references related reports providing in-depth policy analysis and helpfulRead More

Promise of Adolescence Webinar Series

You may recall the release of The Promise of Adolescence in August of 2019 which is a report that examines the neurobiological and sociobehavioral science of adolescent development and identifies how these findings can be applied to four key sectors: child welfare, education, health, and justice. Over the past several decades, research has fundamentally changed our understandingRead More

Report Examines Closing and Repurposing Youth Detention Facilities in California

Between 2006 and 2016, almost 100 youth detention facilities were closed in California, largely due to the decreasing rates of youth incarceration throughout the state. As youth detention rates continue to fall, communities where these facilities are located must decide whether the skyrocketing costs of keeping them open are worth it, and what more effectiveRead More

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Member News

YTFG COVID-19 Resource Center

To support our members and the field as we navigate the challenges of the pandemic together, the YTFG Team is pleased to announce the launch of our new COVID-19 Resource Center. This new resource center: is created with the unique information needs of funders who invest in improving outcomes for youth and young adult. provides highly curatedRead More

Los Angeles County Elevates Youth Voices in Systems Reform

Our very own YTFG Fellows, Lucero Noyola and Carmen Noyola, played a critical role in advocating for the creation of Los Angeles County’s first-ever Youth Commission which elevates the voices of youth in policy and programming decisions at the county level. To learn more about the Commission see this Chronicle of Social Change article.  “When weRead More

Public Welfare Announces New Strategic Framework

Calling it a “moral imperative,” the Public Welfare Foundation has announced a strategy shift to double down on their programmatic priorities of criminal and youth justice, and “focus on catalyzing a transformative approach to justice that is community-led, restorative, and racially just.” Click here to read the full announcement.

Casey Seeks Applicants for 2019–21 Juvenile Justice Youth Advisory Council

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is seeking the next cohort of Juvenile Justice Youth Advisory Council members. They are inviting youth to apply if they are 18-25, have current or former involvement with the juvenile justice system, and want to grow their advocacy and leadership skills. See details at this link.

Transformative Communities Initiative Announces Inaugural Cohort

The Peer2Peer Exchange Fund (P2P) of the Transformative Communities Initiative has announced the members of its 2018 Inaugural Network of Emerging Leaders. With support from Open Society Foundations, Butler Family Fund and Sierra Health Foundation, this inaugural cohort will receive unrestricted grant funding and horizontal (peer-to-peer) strategic planning, coaching and support customized to advance theirRead More

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Policy Updates

50 State Scan of Pretrial Detention Laws for Youth

The Campaign for Youth Justice has issued a policy survey report, Removing Youth from Adult Jails: A 50-State Scan of Pretrial Detention Laws for Youth Transferred to the Adult System, which highlights state readiness to remove children under age 18 from adult jails. The brief was released in response to the passage of the JuvenileRead More

States Need Clear OJJDP Guidance to Implement JJDPA Updates

Marcy Mistrett and Naomi Smoot write in the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange about the broad range of changes contained in the JJDPA Reauthorization, and the resulting critical need for support to states as implementation begins. They call on the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to partner with states to ensure that adequateRead More

DOE and DOJ Rescind Federal School Discipline Guidance

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice have rescinded the Federal School Discipline Guidance. The action was taken four days after the Federal Commission on School Safety released recommendations that called for the removal of the critical civil rights guidance, and also made recommendations to arm school staff and “harden” schools. Click here to readRead More

JJDPA Reauthorized

16 Years Since Last Authorization On December 13, 2018, Congress passed H.R. 6964 with broad bipartisan support, and the President signed the bill into law the following week. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, first passed in 1974, was last reauthorized in 2002 and expired in 2007. In the interim, the Office of JuvenileRead More

DeVos Has Scuttled More Than 1,200 Civil Rights Probes

By Annie Waldman for ProPublica ProPublica’s analysis shows that the Trump administration is less likely than its predecessor to find wrongdoing by school districts on issues ranging from racial and sexual harassment to meeting educational needs of disabled students. Click here to read the story.

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YTFG Publications

Supporting Young Parents and their Children

On October 20th,  YTFG Fellows Angel Jackson, Carmen Noyola, Lucero Noyola and Kera Pingree, shared ways in which systems did and did not support them as parents, how systems and institutions can be more responsive to their needs and the needs of their children, and their ideas for how foundations and communities can partner toRead More

Investing in the Well-Being and Well-Becoming of America’s Young People: Recommendations for Philanthropy, Policy, and Practice

The Youth Transition Funder’s Group (YTFG) is a national network of foundations whose mission is to help all youth make a successful transition to adulthood by age 25. This well-being investment framework was developed by our members in partnership with leading researchers, policy leaders, and young adults. Building upon work underway in the fields ofRead More

YTFG COVID-19 Resource Center

To support our members and the field as we navigate the challenges of the pandemic together, the YTFG Team is pleased to announce the launch of our new COVID-19 Resource Center. This new resource center: is created with the unique information needs of funders who invest in improving outcomes for youth and young adult. provides highly curatedRead More

A Blueprint for Youth Justice Reform

 “For these are all our children. We will all profit by, or pay for, whatever they become.” – James Baldwin, Writer The Blueprint for Youth Justice Reform is a call to action to funders, policymakers, community leaders, system stakeholders, advocates, youth and families. We seek your bold leadership, your commitment and your voices as we workRead More

Investing to Improve the Well-Being of Vulnerable Youth and Young Adults: Recommendations for Policy and Practice

This publication explores the important role and responsibility of each youth-serving system in supporting well-being for youth and young adults and presents a new framework for well-being for young people, highlighting the various domains of well-being and the role of families, communities, and public systems in supporting well-being. It also includes a series of concrete and actionableRead More

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