Introduction to the Special Issue on Reclaiming Futures

Reclaiming Futures, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched in 2000, seeks to create new practice models that interrupt the cycle of drugs and crime among young people. To date, some 29 communities have participated in the demonstration project and national learning collaborative.

This special edition of Children and Youth Services Review includes 11 other articles that:

  • Present updated and evolving analyses of the program, and challenges and opportunities to evaluate complex system reform initiatives.
  • Offer deeper reflection, analysis and recommendations regarding the initiative—the community engagement component; how to use communication to drive community and systems change; and initial reflections on some of the lessons learned about enhancing juvenile drug courts.
  • Discuss issues of diversity within the initiative.
  • Address the power of family involvement and the need to link to best practices in juvenile reentry.
  • Explore some of the larger contextual policy issues associated with efforts to build successful integrated and responsive care systems for youth with substance use disorders.

“This collection of articles represents both earned knowledge and an intentional evolution,” the authors of this introduction write.

This article is part of a special issue of Children and Youth Services Review on the RWJF-funded Reclaiming Futures program.