Family Engagement

Family engagement is a key strategy of the DJS Office of Equity and Inclusion. We are committed to supporting youth and their families by meaningfully engaging their perspectives and feedback on decision making at multiple stages of juvenile justice contact.

DJS family engagement strategies center upon the following guiding principles:

  1. Families are worthy of dignity and respect
  2. Families are equal partners in decision making
  3. Families need support and resources to help them navigate complex public systems.

Information contained on this website helps DJS families to understand the juvenile justice process and helps ensure that families are included in all decision-making.

Some ways OEI achieves this is through quarterly live streams with DJS leadership, webinars explaining aspects of the youth justice system, and a monthly support group for families experiencing different phases of the system. The goal is for all families to feel empowered to move forward successfully, without DJS, once all system involvement has ended.

Finally, as we seek to ensure our practices are family focused, we also periodically survey families at various points of system contact for feedback on their experience with DJS.


Contact Us

Director of Engagement Strategies
Bernice Walker

Bernice Walker 

Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) Parent-to-Parent Support Group

Wednesday (for English speaking Support Group)
September 15, 2021, 2021, 5:30 pm

Thursday (for Spanish speaking Support Group)
September 16, 2021, 5:30 pm

Download flyer pdf:
Support Group Flyer
Support Group Flyer (Spanish)​​

Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) Presents… Family Talks

Navigating the court process
Wednesday, September 8, 2021, 5:30 pm
Download flyer pdf:
Family Talks Flyer​​​​​​​​​