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Justice + Joy's advocacy efforts to change broken and biased policies and systems is grounded in collaboration and cross system approaches that follow the leadership of those most impacted by them in local communities across the country.

Family First Prevention Services Act

Successfully advocated for the inclusion of expectant and parenting youth as an eligible population for prevention services and residential care specializing in the needs of pregnant and parenting youth as an exempt category from Qualified Residential Treatment Program requirements. This was a historic acknowledgement of the unique needs of child welfare-involved young parents and their children.

Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act

Successfully advocated for the addition of the unprecedented requirement for states to report the numbers of expectant and parenting youth in foster care.

Trauma Informed Care for Children and Families Act

Introduced by Senators Durbin (D-IL), Heitkamp (D-ND), Franken (D-MN), and Representative Danny Davis (D-IL), the Act was the first-ever legislation focused on addressing trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) at the federal level. National Crittenton provided input on the legislation from the beginning stages of drafting and assisted with advocacy efforts. Elements of this legislation were eventually passed into law, including the creation of a federal task force on trauma.

RISE from Trauma Act

(Sen. Durbin (D-IL) and Murkowski (R-AK)): bipartisan legislation to increase support for children who have been exposed to ACEs and trauma.


(Rep. Pressley): informed by Dr. Monique Morris’s work on school pushout among Black and Brown girls, the bill acknowledges the harmful ways in which Black and Brown girls are criminalized and over-policed at school and aims to disrupt the school-to-confinement pathway.

Strong Children Act

(Rep. Pressley) – not yet introduced: would create a federal grant program to test new approaches to improve outcomes for children in communities with high prevalence of childhood trauma and ACEs.