DHS’ office of Truancy and Delinquency Prevention is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to increase school attendance and success. In Philadelphia, more than 12,000 children are truant on any given day. Truancy is an indicator for possible academic failure and truant students are at high risk for delinquency, early pregnancy, drug and alcohol use and physical injury. Youth who skip school are also more likely to be victims of crime or participants in crime.
Truancy is most often an indicator of other problems occurring for the youth including poverty, lack of family cohesion, child abuse/neglect, community violence and behavioral and physical health problems. The Office of Truancy and Delinquency Prevention aims to help families overcome these challenges through continuous development and capacity building. We work in partnership with numerous city agencies including the School District of Philadelphia, Family Court and the Police Department as well as a network of community based providers and, perhaps most importantly, the children, families and residents of the communities where we are engaged.
Truancy Prevention Programming aims to:
· Increase attendance among the Philadelphia public school students that are engaged by this process;
· Decrease the number of children missing school due to health related issues.
· Increase the number of positive substantive contacts between the parents of the students referred to this office and the schools their children attend.
· Decrease the number of children referred to DHS for formal in-home supervision or placement.