De-Institutionalization of Status Offenders

Using grant funding obtained through the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (GJJAC), and in conjunction with the Models for Change initiative, the Juvenile Court placed a Probation Officer in West Valley School District to pilot a program working with truant youth.

The Truancy Specialist utilizes the Check and Connect Model (a best practice program). Check and connect includes four components: mentoring, systematic monitoring, timely and individualized intervention, and enhancing home-school support.

Truancy Specialist Responsibilities
This Truancy Specialist:
  • Acts as a liaison between West Valley School District and the Juvenile Court.
  • Educates the community on Truancy issues.
  • Meets with the truant youth and his or her family to assess the youth’s needs and strengths.
  • Monitors truant youth’s attendance and behavior at school.
  • Participates as a member of the West Valley School District Community Truancy Board.
  • Refers the truant youth to necessary services.

Program Results
The first two years of the program were very successful, resulting in zero students being found in contempt of their Truancy petitions. The last time West Valley contempt rates were this low was in 1998. For more information, view the Second Year GJJAC DSO Report (PDF).