Making a difference through shared knowledge and action is essential! Too often, children and youth have been overlooked in the wake of America’s substance use crisis. United for Youth: Creating a path forward for children, youth and families impacted by substance use is funded by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and operated by JBS International, Inc. This site highlights awareness of the stress and trauma children face and offers resources, best practice tools and effective interventions. 
Our aim is to:

  • Offer up-to-date information readily available for use.
  • Ensure that the public, professionals and parents/caregivers alike learn about the ground-breaking work underway across our country.
  • Fuel collaboration and cross-sector engagement by highlighting vital work across partner organizations. 
  • Encourage actions and share success stories that make a real difference for children and youth. 

United for Youth offers a unique and necessary perspective on the substance abuse crisis in our nation. While treatment and support for those with substance use disorders is critical, we cannot forget the children and families. Many years of practice and research tell us that there are family and environmental factors that can either protect us or cause us to be at risk1 for future substance use disorders2. We also know that some of these risk factors, like adverse childhood experiences start early in life. United for Youth helps inform the public about information and practices that support children who are impacted by substance use.  The preventions and treatments are not the same for children as they are for adults.  Children grow, learn and develop in the context of relationships with adults in their lives. This complex interplay between individual development, relationships and the environment means that the solutions are often multifaceted and multigenerational. United for Youth seeks to provide up to date information about what is working, who can help make it work for your community, and hope through stories of success and healing. 

Office for Victims of Crime

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) was established in 1988 through an amendment to the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984. The Office administers the Crime Victims Fund supporting a broad array of programs and services assisting victims.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, OVC launched the Enhancing Community Responses to the Opioid Crisis: Serving Our Youngest Crime Victims grant program, a multi-year initiative addressing an urgent gap in identifying and serving children and youth who, as a result of the opioid crisis and broader substance use, have experienced significant trauma and victimization. A total of 41 grant projects were funded in FY 2018. This initiative was expanded in FY 2019 to bring the total to 59 grant projects in 36 states and communities, including some tribes and tribal consortiums. These projects develop successful outreach and direct service strategies, utilize data to inform and guide project evolution and engage multi-disciplinary teams to guide, support and sustain projects over time. 

JBS International, Inc.

Every day, JBS International, Inc. (JBS), a consulting company, focuses on combating substance use and its impact on society at the national, state, and local levels. On the ground in all 50 states, JBS is effecting change through unparalleled knowledge, experience, and determination to develop real-world, and customized solutions. JBS delivers technical assistance by identifying what's working and in what environments-- and ensuring this information and practices are disseminated effectively to individuals, programs, and providers. Our substance use work cuts across many vulnerable populations including children, youth and families/caregivers, tribes, pregnant, postpartum and parenting women, people involved with the criminal justice system, patients with comorbidities such as mental health issues, and rural and urban communities with limited access to care.

Whether through capacity building, data collection, IT solutions or work force development, JBS makes real progress and impacts real people.

  • 1. Dube, S. R., Felitti, V. J., Dong, M., Chapman, D. P., Giles, W. H., & Anda, R. F. (2003). Childhood abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction and the risk of illicit drug use: the adverse childhood experiences study. Pediatrics, 111(3), 564-572.
  • 2. Mennis, J., Stahler, G. J., & Mason, M. J. (2016). Risky Substance Use Environments and Addiction: A New Frontier for Environmental Justice Research. International journal of environmental research and public health, 13(6), 607. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13060607.