Truancy Prevention

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Truancy. The child is not in School ...Children under age 16The parent/guardian is responsible for attendanceChild is 16 or over Not legally ?truant" but absent. A Serious Problem. Our school leaders have said that 6500 students were absent without permission for 20 days or more in 2005.One of

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Truancy Prevention

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1. Truancy Prevention An Integrated Approach

2. Truancy The child is not in School ... Children under age 16 The parent/guardian is responsible for attendance Child is 16 or over Not legally “truant” but absent

3. A Serious Problem Our school leaders have said that 6500 students were absent without permission for 20 days or more in 2005. One of every 20 students. Many more absent 10-20 days!

4. Many Causes of Truancy Peer pressure Lack of consequences & enforcement School and student culture Students are behind in school Problems at school Family issues or family pressure to stay home Mental health issues Special Education needs Behavioral issues and antisocial attitudes Educational and curriculum problems

5. Why the Lack of Success The size of the problem has overwhelmed resources. Truant students are often problem students. “Turf” Competing orientations (the “hammer problem”) Cynicism … “nothing will be done” and “it won’t make any difference.”

6. 5 Prongs of a Successful Anti-Truancy Initiative

7. Do What You Can With What You Have Where You Are! Theodore Roosevelt

8. The Guiding Principle Start where we are! Begin with existing programs, procedures and available resources. Don’t let the “ideal” destroy the possible.

9. 5 Prongs to a Successful Anti-Truancy Initiative Parent/Guardian Involvement School Leadership Community Support Effective Legal Action Remediation and Intervention

10. The Current School and Legal Process

17. The Problem: The parent is often not in control of the child The penalty not practical Lack of follow-up & services Children fall through the cracks

18. Existing Alternatives Child In Need of Assistance (CINA) Child In Need of Supervision (CINS)

19. CINA Formalized and regulated process. Abuse or neglect. Social Service or Child Protective Services involvement. Removal from the home.

20. CINS Habitual truancy or delinquency. Anyone can file complaint. Burden on DJS to investigate. Commitment to DJS. Not a priority for DJS.

21. The New Prince George’s Pilot Truancy Reduction Program (Truancy Court)

22. A focused and simplified CINS Similar to pilot program on the Eastern Shore A civil proceeding – not criminal Court hearing required

24. Mobilizes new resources Targets the child (and parent) Control over the out-of-control child Fills a gap in current practice

25. What the Court Can Order the Child to Do Attend school Get counseling or treatment Have a mental health evaluation or get treatment Keep a curfew Other steps to ensure attendance

26. The child cannot be locked up in a secure facility. There is no criminal record. The legal standard for everyone is “the best interests of the child.”

28. Implementation Steps Task Force to study Feasibility and recommendation to do so Implementation Workgroup Funding in FY2009 Budget Begin in September 2009

29. Key Actors Judge Maureen Lamasney Administrative Office of Courts Board of Education Dept of Social Services Department of Juvenile Justice State’s Attorney’s Office Office of the Public Defender County Council

30. Planned Process Referrals from Board of Ed Screening by IAC Truancy Court Case Manager Family Evaluation (“lite”) Afternoon Court Sessions Referrals to Services As Needed Continuing Court Monitoring and Reinforcement

31. Do What You Can With What You Have Where You Are!

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