Truancy Prevention Program


Truancy is a symptom that often masks academic difficulties, emotional crises, safety concerns, or low self esteem.

Working with The Village for Families and Children, the Center addresses the critical problem of chronic absenteeism and its impact on academic performance.

Integrated with our school-based services at six Hartford K-8 elementary schools, the program reduces absences and improves academic performance among middle school youth who are chronically absent (missing 10% or more total school days). A Village staff person at each school works with the school attendance team to identify and engage at-risk students and their families, and provides a range of interventions focused on overcoming barriers to regular attendance and increasing school engagement.

For students whose attendance does not sufficiently improve, the program includes linkage with the Juvenile Review Board (JRB), an alternative to Juvenile Court. A JRB case manager follows a structured process of assessment, recommendation, and response to achieve the best outcome for each referred student. 

JRB and Village staff receive specialized legal training on pertinent educational issues from Center for Children’s Advocacy attorneys and consultants, as well as legal consultation with CCA staff.

 

Judge’s Mentoring Program

A judge works students enrolled in the program at Burr, MD Fox, MLK and SAND Schools to address chronic absenteeism:

Success of the Judge’s Mentoring Program is measured on successful “graduation” from school-based truancy prevention interventions with improved attendance and grades, without the need for further JRB case management supports.

 

Systemic Work Helps Students throughout Connecticut

Individual cases inform the Center’s systemic advocacy. Too many children are arrested at school for behavior that could be handled within the regular disciplinary system; this example became an integral part of the Center’s advocacy for legislation to provide additional training to help School Resource Officers (SROs) work with youth to resolve behavioral issues and avoid involvement in the juvenile justice system.

It is critically important to raise public awareness about truancy and its root causes. 

 

Stay in School. It’s a big deal.
Video messages from kids who know what they’re talking about.

 

Publications and Presentations

 

For more information, contact Marisa Halm, JD

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