School Social Work and Attendance Services
Specialized school social work programs strengthen the home/school/community partnership and address barriers to student learning.School social workers serve as catalysts in promoting student wellbeing and successful completion of school. School Social Workers provide prevention/early intervention services, crisis intervention, access to community resources and information & referral services. They work closely with an Attendance Counselor to interpret and implement state, district and school policies on attendance and compulsory education.
Truancy Intervention Program
Harnett County Schools, Community Agencies and the Harnett County Court System are working together to tackle chronic absenteeism in Harnett County Schools.
Harnett County Schools had a total of 1,862 students with 10 or more unexcused absences from August 2012 through April 2013 and a total of 2,037 students with 18 or more total absences (10% for the school year). Research tells us that chronic absenteeism is a red alert that students are headed for academic trouble and eventually for dropping out of high school. (SOURCE: Attendance Works http://www.attendanceworks.org/. Truancy can also lead to many problem behaviors such as juvenile delinquency (National Center for School Engagement). In order to combat this problem in Harnett County, a Truancy Intervention Program has been implemented.
The Truancy Intervention Program is a collaborative effort between Harnett County Schools, Community Agencies, and the Court System to reduce the rate of truancy and chronic absenteeism.
Parents of students enrolled in the Harnett County School System who fall within the ages of 5 through 15 with ten or more unexcused absences may be issued a warrant for failing to comply with NC's Compulsory Attendance Law which will require a court appearance.The judge may offer the parent the opportunity to meet with a Truancy Intervention Committee made up of representatives from Harnett County Schools and Community Agencies (Department of Social Services, Health Department, Juvenile Justice, Mental Health, Law Enforcement, etc.).The Truancy Intervention Committee will work with the parent to develop an Action Plan designed to link parents and students with resources that will aid them in improving their child's attendance. The Action Plan will be monitored by the school system over a specified period of time. A parent's failure to comply with the plan will result in a referral back to the court system.
Parents are reminded to send their children to school everyday. They should stay home only when absolutely necessary. Attendance is a key to a child's school success. A child who misses a day of school misses a day of learning.