TRUANCY EDUCATION SERVICES
The Richland County Juvenile Court works collaboratively with eleven Richland County school districts in addressing student absenteeism, with the objective of preventing and/or decreasing the incidence of truancy. The target population is truant students in the at-risk unruly and misdemeanor categories between the ages of 12 and 17. The truancy process is designed to support a child’s participation in school, and offers four progressive components as follows:
- Prior to Court involvement and as required by House Bill 410, the school will issue a letter warning parents of the legal consequences of failure to attend school.
- When a child reaches forty-eight (48) hours of unexcused absence from school, the student and parents are referred to the Court’s Truancy Education Program, which is an educational endeavor to make parents and students aware of the truancy process, compulsory school laws, and individual school policies. The program is held at the Juvenile Justice Center twice monthly.
- In the event of continued noncompliance with the truancy program, an informal conference is scheduled with the Court Truancy Coordinator, a representative of the school, and the student. The focus of this intervention is to set expectations and responsibilities, and to identify any child or family needs. If there are no further unexcused absences and full compliance with the conference plan, the informal case is sealed.
- In cases where all attempts of diversion fail, an official complaint is filed with the Court. As a result, youth may be placed on community control or probation, and supervised by a Truancy Probation Officer. Further, parents who fail to cooperate or are unable to facilitate their child attending school, may be charged on a joint complaint of “Failure to Send” or “Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.”
Truancy Coordinator Amy Baumberger firstname.lastname@example.org (419) 774-6384