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Juvenile Justice Center Family Services of Philadelphia
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Program Director: Sharri Henderson
Executive Director: Jeanine Glasgow

An In Home Services Program Provided By JJC Family Services

Truancy Prevention and Intervention Initiative (TPII)

The Truancy Prevention and Intervention Initiative (TPII) is a joint initiative between JJC Family Services, School District of Philadelphia, Family Court and DHS, designed to target truancy with early assessment and intervention.  The primary objective is to help each student become successful members of his or her family, school and community through regular school attendance, case management, court interventions, placement prevention, and referrals to other services when necessary.

Truancy case managers will inform the families of the Pennsylvania Compulsory Education Attendance Law and ensure compliance that all children must attend school in Pennsylvania. The parent or guardian of the student is held liable for ensuring a child's regular attendance. The school and parents are given the initial responsibilities to address a student's absences through the Truancy Elimination Process which takes place at the school and should involve the parent when the teacher recognizes an apparent pattern of absences. Parents can be proactive by paying close attention to their child's absences found on every report card, then addressing this with the school. However, when a student receives 10 or more absences, their school forwards their information to the School District of Philadelphia which forwards this information to Family Court of Philadelphia and the Department of Human Services. The aforementioned entities forward the students' information to JJC for truancy case management services for thirty-seven schools in the NW region of Philadelphia.

Truancy case managers conduct school and home visits on a bi-monthly basis to identify barriers that affect attendance and aid the family through the truancy court process. Prior to a family's truancy court date, the truancy case manager will support families throughout the duration of their involvement in truancy court to ensure that the student attends school daily and has zero absences between court dates. The parent and child must be present at every court hearing and they will always be accompanied by their case manager. Truancy hearings are currently held at the Regional level at Leeds Middle School at 1100 Mt. Pleasant Avenue in the Mount Airy section of the city and conducted by special Truancy Masters (experienced attorneys in the field) in a court-like setting with court clerks. In addition, a Department of Human Services social worker is present as well as a representative from the School District.

Truancy case managers provide assistance throughout this process and draw on student's and family's strengths to resolve all matters associated with barriers to the students' attendance and education. The presiding Master, working with school representatives and social workers from DHS work together with truancy case managers who have conducted school and home visits to assess the source of the truancy and to develop an action plan to rectify the issue. This may include, but is not limited to, counseling, tutoring, parent effectiveness training, etc.  Once the Family Development Plan is developed, parents and children are court ordered to comply with specified stipulations noted on the Truancy Court Order.  Failure to do so may result in the case being transferred to Family Court at 1801 Vine Street's E-Court, where families may receive their final chance to comply with the Truancy Court Order stipulations. Repeated failure to comply may result in fines and/ or the filing of a Dependent Petition, whereby more intensive DHS services may be implemented in the home, a student can be removed from the home and placed in a residential setting, or incarceration of the parent.

As JJC is the provider for schools in the Northwest Region of Philadelphia, and due to our Germantown location, we will be referring families to services found at this location.

For more information please call (215) 849-2112 ext 5525