About the Iowa Task Force
for Young Women
The Iowa Task Force for Young Women involves
key stakeholders in Iowa's juvenile justice system, particularly
service providers who want comprehensive system change that
reflects gender equity for girls and young women. Major
activities of the Task Force include: the annual "Whispers
& Screams" conference for girl-serving professionals;
the biannual Girls' Summit to
specifically address young women's needs with policy shapers;
and the Courageous Advocacy Awards
for exceptional advocates and young women. Further, the
Task Force has many publications
to assist female responsive service implementation, program
location and understanding various issues related to young
Although Iowa has not traditionally placed
emphasis on the provision of gender-responsive services
for females, since the 1995 formation of the Iowa Gender-Specific
Services Task Force (now the Iowa Task Force for Young Women)
by the Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning
(CJJP), there has been increasing discussion and action
toward this end. Across the continuum of the Iowa juvenile
justice system, service providers and system officials have
been educated on female development and the need for more
gender-responsive services that utilize the gender-specific
services philosophy in programs that serve adolescent females.
Encouragingly, there has been change in the way services
are provided in various programs.
System changes are also slowly beginning to emerge. However, a comprehensive change across the juvenile justice system has not occurred. Change must occur on a more fundamental level within the system to facilitate utilization of innovative gender-specific approaches in all programs and services. Further, those involved in the planning of our efforts must expand to include a wider representation of players in the juvenile justice system. Both measures are necessary for Iowa to truly provide equitable services within its juvenile justice system.
Funding through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
In 1998, the Iowa Division of Criminal
and Juvenile Justice and Planning Division entered into
an agreement with the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women
to provide staff support to the Task Force. This position
coordinates the Task Force's activities.
The grant was secured to facilitate the utilization of innovative gender-specific approaches in meeting the needs of the adolescent female population in Iowa's juvenile justice system as part of and complementary to the use of positive youth development principles and practices in communities throughout Iowa.
- Facilitate a comprehensive fundamental
change in the juvenile justice system that will enhance
the understanding and utilization of innovative gender-responsive
approaches in all programs and services, particularly
those that serve the adolescent female population of Iowa's
juvenile justice system.
Iowa Task Force for
Young Women Annual Plan
View a list of active Task Force
Back to Female Juvenile Justice