School Referrals on Youth under age 13

Any child who has not attained the age of 13 who fails to comply with the compulsory attendance requirements and is habitually truant, may be referred by the school district to CCC&YS for services, which may include addressing family issues that may be responsible for the child’s truant behavior, or possible adjudication as a “dependent” child under the Juvenile Act.  Before a referral is made by school personnel on a child age 13 or younger because of truancy or unlawful absence, CCC&YS expects that the school will:
  1. Fully implement the medical excuse requirement as per the school code at the elementary school level through high school.
  2. Cite parents per the school code.
  3. Send written notices to parents requiring written medical excuses after the statutory number of days have been missed.
  4. For children referred to CCC&YS, use behavioral interventions other than out-of-school suspensions to deal with behavior.
  5. Refer youth under age 13 at the point of filing the second citation.
  6. Upon receipt of a third illegal absence, school districts shall coordinate a school/family conference to discuss the cause of the child’s truancy and develop a mutually agreed upon Truancy Elimination Plan (TEP) to resolve truant behavior.
  7. Offer truancy prevention programs starting at the elementary school level.
  8. Refer youth only after use of all school-based  resources including consideration of educational placement testing.
If the school truancy continues after the above actions have been taken the Agency will review referral for acceptance after the school provides, in writing, the background information requested on the school referral form.  The School Request for Service should also include the exact number of days missed for the current school year, a full school attendance history for prior school years and documented actions the school has taken to correct the problem prior to the referral being made.

It is expected that if the school district decides that the parents’ written permission is required before this information can be sent, it will be the school’s responsibility to secure same.  A copy of the Truancy Elimination Plan (TEP) that was prepared by the school district with the parents should also be included with the School Request for Service form.

When the Agency receives this information, the case will be assigned to an In-Home Services caseworker, who will complete a family assessment and plan with the school and family for any needed services.  The family assessment will include a joint conference with identified school personnel.  If, after all other resources and services have been exhausted, the child continues to be truant from school; the Agency will have the option of filing a petition with the Juvenile Court and arranging for a hearing. Appropriate school personnel will be expected to be present at the Juvenile Court hearing. The caseworker will be responsible for scheduling school conferences and hiring new staff. The school may request a staffing or conference on any referral.

School truancy referral will be accepted for services on children under age 13 upon the second citation to a district magistrate.  There is no established end date for the acceptance of referrals.  However, it should be noted that acceptance of referrals may be suspended at any point in the year that caseworker caseloads are at a maximum level.  If this should happen, a waiting list will be established.  Children under 13 years of age will have priority placements on the waiting list.

Additionally, referrals should be made early enough in the school year so that the child/youth is able to “salvage” the remainder of the year and have the opportunity to “pass” on to the next grade.  CCC&YS may not accept referrals that fail to meet these criteria particularly if there was an opportunity to refer earlier in the school year.