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Any experienced juvenile court judge, case manager or probation officer can cite instances when the line
between abuse and neglect (dependency cases) and juvenile delinquency cases becomes blurred. This population is frequently referred to as “crossover youth” or “dual status” to reflect their crossing from one system into the other creating dual system involvement. In Indiana these youth are referred to as “dual status”.
Focus on this vulnerable population has shown youth who have contact with both systems are more likely to
suffer a host of problems – higher recidivism, higher rates of academic failure, mental health problems, and substance abuse. We now know that in certain circumstances a child and the family require a special level of focus and collaborative efforts of both systems. Over the years, caseworkers and probation officers have attempted, with limited anecdotal success, to bridge the gap. Most of the time, however, those efforts were blockaded by entrenched silo mentality. Although, case managers and probation officers serve different functions they have the shared goal of improving the lives of children and families. By working together to address identified needs and support the youth and families, both agencies can maximize the benefit of system involvement.