The Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI) is a community of scholars, students, and policy practitioners committed to identifying pressing policy problems and recommending effective solutions. The Georgetown Public Policy Institute LEAD Conference (Leadership. Evidence. Analysis. Debate.) is a forum to discuss a domestic or international policy issue requiring our nation’s attention. The goal of the LEAD Conference is to bring together key stakeholders, researchers and students to examine a particular policy challenge and foster dialogue on potential solutions.

Through this annual event, GPPI will highlight a particular area of research of its faculty and research centers. Our inaugural conference, Positive Outcomes for At-Risk Children and Youth: Improving Lives Through Practice and System Reform, will focus on promoting effective solutions to the problems facing our nation's most vulnerable young people, featuring the work of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR).

Please see below for more information about GPPI and CJJR.


This inspirational two-day conference will focus on improving outcomes for at-risk children and youth. Specifically, the event will present policies and practices that can be brought together in a comprehensive way to support the healthy development of this vulnerable population. The conference will discuss this issue from local, state, and national standpoints and will highlight various subject areas, such as education, employment and job training, physical and behavioral health, social development, child welfare, and juvenile justice. The conference will emphasize the value of early intervention, while also underscoring that it is never too late to help a child or family. Further, the panels and presentations will stress the importance of engaging a youth’s family for interventions to be most effective. Several sessions will also be offered on policy, leadership, management, and messaging to support systemic change that is needed to institutionalize best practices – both from the top-down and bottom up. The centrality of data in driving such reform will be a common theme throughout the conference, as will the need for collaboration among child-serving organizations.

The conference will encourage attendees to consider the following questions:

  • What do children and youth need to develop into healthy, happy, and productive individuals?
  • When children and youth are abused, drop out of school, commit a crime, or suffer from mental and behavioral health problems, what interventions can help them get back on the path towards positive life outcomes?
  • What are the necessary systemic changes that can help improve outcomes for at-risk children and youth?

The two-day conference will include a mix of plenary and breakout sessions as well as networking activities for registered guests and speakers. Opening and closing keynote addresses will frame the conference, and breakout panels on both days will allow participants to focus on issues most relevant to them. Please visit the agenda page for the full schedule of events.


The event is geared towards those working on youth issues at the national, state, and local levels and will cover a range of strategies for healthy development. We expect a diverse audience ranging from policymakers to practitioners, researchers to foundation representatives, students, teachers, community leaders, and more. Anyone interested in improving outcomes for at-risk children and youth will benefit from attending this conference. Proof of participation will be made available to those attendees wishing to apply for continuing education credit with their state or licensing entity.


The conference will be held January 24-25, 2013 in Washington, D.C. on the historic campus of Georgetown University.

Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center
3800 Reservoir Road, N.W.
Washington, DC 20057
(202) 687-3200


The Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI) works at the forefront of policy research and analysis on today’s most critical topics, such as education, health and healthcare, economic security, energy and the environment, and international development. As a top-ranked public policy school in Washington, D.C., GPPI brings in world-renowned practitioners as faculty and speakers and provides its students with a broad range of internship and career opportunities in both public and private sectors. Additionally,GPPI’s affiliated centers engage in innovative research, professional training, and information sharing on social policies, health policies, and Congress.


 Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR)
The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) is a national leader in identifying and highlighting research on effective policies and practices that reduce delinquency by working across juvenile justice, child welfare and related systems of care. As a Georgetown Public Policy Institute research center, CJJR develops multi-systems approaches to addressing the needs of at-risk youth, especially those “crossover youth” involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The Center sponsors symposia and papers on cutting-edge, cross-systems issues and conducts Certificate Programs and other professional development opportunities to build a field of strong leaders devoted to reform. The Certificate Programs are periods of intensive study designed for organization and system leaders working with crossover youth. These programs are designed to cover the variety of issues impacting crossover youth to prepare leaders to undertake a wide range of reforms in their community. The Center also convenes progressive juvenile justice leaders actively engaged in reform efforts in a Juvenile Justice Leadership Network to strengthen peer support and solidify lessons learned in the field. Additionally, the Center hosts a Public Information Officer Learning Collaborative for communication directors in the juvenile justice and child welfare fields to enhance messaging around reform efforts underway in their jurisdictions.

Further, CJJR has developed the Crossover Youth Practice Model, which describes the specific practices that need to be in place within a jurisdiction to address the unique issues presented by crossover youth. CJJR is currently implementing this Practice Model in over 30 jurisdictions around the country. CJJR also serves as a liaison to prosecutors in the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change juvenile justice initiative and provides training and technical assistance to prosecutors in the four core Models for Change states (Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Washington). The most recent edition to the Center’s portfolio of work is the Juvenile Justice System Improvement Project, an effort designed to help states improve outcomes for juvenile offenders by better translating knowledge on "what works" into everyday practice and policy.