The Truancy Diversion Social Work Program provided services to students and their families in Wood County. These students range in age from 12 to 15 and are experiencing truancy problems at VanDevender Junior High School. The school provides a referral to the Truancy Diversion Social Worker who works with the student and family to develop an individualized plan. The social worker also assesses the student and family to determine need, links the student/family with appropriate programs and services and facilitates communication. The Wood County Board of Education funds the program.
A Client's Story:
12-year old Joe had 28 unexcused absences and a grade point average of 0.4. He was failing all of his classes and it appeared that he would have to repeat 7th grade. Joe lives with his mother, a part-time day care worker, her boyfriend, a 16-year old sister and two brothers, 9 and 15. Joe's birth father is not in the family picture. There is a history of truancy in the family. No family member has completed high school and the 16-year old sister has already dropped out. The 15-year old brother plans to follow in her footsteps.
Joe entered junior high after a move into the area. Besides normal adjustment to junior high, Joe missed all his elementary school friends. When he wasn't refusing to go to school because he felt sick, he spent time in the nurse's office or crying during class. He was referred to the Truancy Diversion Program. Through our work with his family and teachers, Joe has shown steady improvement. Since early February, he has had no unexcused absences and has raised his grade point average from .4 to 2.4. He has successfully passed 7th grade and enters 8th grade this fall. We're all proud of what Joe has accomplished - and, more important, he's proud of himself.
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