Develop and maintain an interdisciplinary, nonadversarial work team.

To provide a seamless continuum of services for youth and their families, the juvenile drug court needs to develop and maintain a supportive, nonadversarial work team. This team is central to program planning, implementation, and operation. The composition of the team will evolve as the court moves from conception to implementation. It is important to ensure that the team’s commitment and vision are sustained and each new member of the team establishes ownership of the work of the juvenile drug court. (Excerpt taken from the Juvenile Drug Courts: Strategies in Practice)

Resources & Tools


The Unique Role of the Judge in Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts: Advice from the Field - the role of the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court (JDTC) Judge is unique. JDTC judges must balance the role of the tteam leader with their role as the "faces" of the JDTC in the courtroom. This requires an understanding of theraputic jurisprudence, adolescent development, data-driven decisions, and many other complex concepts. The Unique Role of the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Judge is a benchcard that is designed for new JDTC judges. The publication offers practical advice from other JDTC judges about dealing with ethicial concerns, team dynamics, family engagement, and community outreach. Click here, to download a copy of the benchcard.  

Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts: Clarifying Roles, Responsibilities, and Expectations of Juvenile Drug Court Teams - understanding our roles and responsibilities is essential if a JDTC team wishes to reach a collaborative advantage! Greater Sum of Their Parts discusses formal and informal roles for core JDTC team members and how these individual roles combine to create organizational synergy. To download a copy of this publication, click here

The Sin of the Missed Opportunity to Engage Participants: The Court Hearing - is the fourth sin taken from The Seven Deadly Sins Series: Juvenile Drug Court Practices that Can Lead to Poor Outcomes, redirects the JDTC hearings to engage youth and family to build a relationship and obtain positive outcomes. Click here to read Sin #4 and view the short- and long-term solutions to increase effectiveness and positively influence the JDTC youth and family

Use the In-Practice Tip Sheet on Teamwork to provide operational steps to implementing the 16 Strategies in Practice. The Teamwork Tip Sheet focuses on sharing in the philosophy of the juvenile drug court (JDC) model; working toward having a core team that includes a judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, probation/case manager, treatment provider, and coordinator; giving new team members an opportunity to gain ownership in the JDTC program; and many more. For additional In-Practice Tip Sheets click on the Practical Tips to Help Juvenile Drug Court Teams Implement the 16 Strategies in Practice.

The 7 Series provides articles to help operationalize complex framworks and theories for JDTC professionals. The 7 (Easy) Steps to Collaborative Planning article focuses on "capitalizing on the individual skills of a diverse group of leaders while creating interpersonal links to achieve an outcome..."  Click here to read the articel on the 7 (Easy) Steps to Collaborative Planning. For other 7 Series articles such as steps to measuring performance; confidentiality and information-sharing; creating a transition policy for team members; community engagement and resource development; building a nonprofit group to support your program; and individualizing your juvenile drug court. To download the 7 Series publication, click here.  


Workbooks, Reports, and More!

Click here to download the Juvenile Drug Court Caregiver and Youth Progress Report (Sample Tool) - the progress report is a tool for JDTCs to use to promote youth and family participation in the status hearing. The report consists of a few simple questions that the caregiver and the youth write answers to. The judge uses the report as the bases for interacting with the youth and caregiver during the weekly or bi-weekly status hearing. Please click here for more guidance on using the Juvenile Drug Court Caregiver and Youth Progress Report

Juvenile Drug Court Communication, Court Environment, Self-Awareness: What Hurts and What Helps? (1) - The information sheet is a family engagement matrix geared toward being trauma-informed and helps identify sensitive matters in court interactions. The matrix also serves as a guide to engage the family and to help them feel more comfortable. Click here to download the matrix. 

Use the Define Roles and Responsibilities of Each Team Member worksheet to help determining roles and responsibilities for your JDTC team members. 

Things to Consider

  • Team members share in the philosophy and mandates of the juvenile drug treatment court model.
  • The policies and procedures of the parent agency do not interfere with the team’s ability to function as a team and to make team decisions. 
  • The team members fully understand his or her individual role on the team.
  • Each team member fully understands the roles and responsibilities of others.  
  • The team members have access to and receive the same levels of training and training opportunities. 
  • The team displays a high level of trust and open communication.