System Partnerships Resources

The Unique Abilities and Needs of the Adolescent Brain

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a new report on the developing adolescent brain. In The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth, researchers focus on the outsized ability of the teen brain to learn, grow, and change, a quality that can be leveraged to help adolescents positively shape their lives. The report offers a variety of policy and practice recommendations to help education, health, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems erase inequities and capitalize on this critical stage of development.

Find the full report here:


Issue Brief: Supporting Pathways to Long-Term Success for Systems-Involved Youth: Lessons Learned

This brief is a compilation of lessons learned from American Youth Policy Forum’s (AYPF) last two years of work focused specifically on systems-involved youth.  Following a discussion about the education and workforce barriers these youth face, their outcomes, and the policies that affect them, this brief is organized into three key lessons that AYPF has identified as critical for promoting pathways to postsecondary education, training, and careers for youth involved in the juvenile justice system and/or youth in foster care. Drawing upon research-supported best practices of community-based programs from around the country, these lessons include: 

  • Leveraging authentic youth voice;
  • Providing youth with a diversity of comprehensive supports and transitional services and;
  • Strategically aligning youth-serving systems and policies.

Read the AYPF brief here:


Understanding Foster, Juvenile Justice, and Crossover Youth

Young people involved in the child welfare and/or juvenile justice systems often face significant challenges as they transition to college and career. This resource, which draws upon national, state, and local research and data, provides snapshots of the education and workforce outcomes of these populations and explores the challenges they face.

Learn more here:


U.S. Interagency Council on Ending Homelessness – Opening Doors

Presented to the Office of the President and Congress on June 22, 2010, Opening Doors is the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness. Opening Doors serves as a roadmap for joint action by the 19 USICH member agencies along with local and state partners in the public and private sectors. In September 2012, USICH released an Amendment to Opening Doors, which was developed to specifically address what strategies and supports should be implemented to improve the educational outcomes for children and youth, and the steps that need to be taken to assist unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness.  

Learn more about Opening Doors here:


Foster Care Youth in RHY Programs - Information Memorandum

Earlier this year, many of you requested guidance on youth who run from foster care and enter an RHY shelter.  Both the Administration on Children and Families' Acting Assistant Secretary, Mark Greenberg, and the Family and Youth Services Bureau's (FYSB) Associate Commissioner, William Bentley heard your voices.  So, in September, Mr. Bentley, issued a letter informing you of the forthcoming guidance and committing FYSB  to working with the Children's Bureau.  We, along with the Children's Bureau, are pleased to provide you with specific guidance on this topic in the form of the attached Information Memorandum (IM).  This IM, titled, "Foster Care Youth in RHY Programs - Information Memorandum," gives guidance on the appropriate provision of services for youth who run away from foster care and come in contact with runaway and homeless youth programs. 

ACF Information Memorandum

Published November 2014