All over Europe youth delinquency is decreasing; our understanding of the factors related to juvenile delinquency and the characteristics of effective forensic youth care has increased substantially. However, effective prevention and intervention strategies are not always employed due to financial, demographical and socio-political challenges countries face, while the burden of mental health in juvenile justice populations is high. With this commentary, we highlight the importance of international collaboration to set out a direction to improve forensic youth care, to bundle our strengths and overcome our challenges. It is a continuation of the course that was set out by Doreleijers and Fegert (Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health 5:20, 2011), in their editorial they highlighted the importance of collaboration and presented an overview of the state of the art on forensic youth care in eight European countries (and Russia). With this manuscript, we present an overview of statistics in juvenile justice of all European countries and present an integrated mission statement for forensic youth care, which was formulated in a keynote debate at the 6th biennial congress of the European Association for Forensic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychology and other involved professions (EFCAP).