Children and youth who have experiences in multiple service systems, sometimes referred to as multi-system, crossover, or dual-status youth, face increased adverse life outcomes when compared to young people only involved in one system or those in the general population. Evidence suggests that multi-system BIPOC youth are especially overrepresented and face additional challenges. The need exists for interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary researchers to collaborate and connect their work to more broadly and effectively address the needs of this population. Particularly, there are growing numbers of emerging/junior social work scholars who are interested in crossover youth. Research could benefit from dialogue regarding overlapping interests and populations to more comprehensively understand multi-system children and youth needs to improve outcomes. For example, an expert in youth who are homeless may want to know more about how housing is impacted by young people's experiences in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and bring their substantive knowledge to offer others considerations related to housing and homelessness. To the authors' knowledge, an organized space for this does not yet exist. Thus, this roundtable is an opportunity to share substantive knowledge, research experiences, methodological approaches, and ways of partnering with communities and individuals to amplify the voices of multi-system youth with lived experiences. This session will focus on successes and challenges in conducting research on this population, and contribute to building a stronger research foundation while promoting collaborations on multi-system youth research.
The panelists will provide a brief overview of the above issues to frame the conversation, including common challenges they have found as to why research has not yet effectively addressed multi-system youth. Each panelist will briefly offer examples from their own research, and attendees will be encouraged to join the dialogue and share their experiences to contribute to a richer discussion on ideas for how barriers to collaboration can be lessened. The goal is to conclude the session with a better understanding of the issues multi-system youth face, the obstacles and opportunities with building more collaborative research networks to address this population, and network connections and direction for social work research partnerships on multi-system youth and issues they face.