The Truancy Intervention Project is always seeking new volunteers. Attorneys serving as legal counsel on truancy cases are asked to commit twelve months, or as long as the case remains active, to provide advocacy services for the child and to be a role model and advocate for the child and family. The attorney can expect to commit approximately 50 hours on each case.
The attorney has two major roles:
1. To be an advocate and attorney for the child; representing the child in truancy-related legal proceedings and
advocating for the child to resolve issues which may be contributing to the truancy.
2. To be a role model for the child; demonstrating the value of education and being a caring adult in the child’s life,
encouraging the child’s regular school attendance.
Volunteer as Role Model:
All volunteers agree to serve as a role model for the child and to assist the family in identifying and utilizing community resources.
-The volunteer will work to build a positive and supportive relationship with the child.
-The volunteer will encourage the child to attend school, and encourage the family to appreciate the
importance of education.
-The volunteer will strive to be a positive role model for the child.
The volunteer will work with the school to help ensure that the child's issues related to attendance are resolved, so that court involvement does not become necessary. The volunteer will work with the child and family, making weekly contact, to monitor the progress of the case and assist in determining what services and resources are needed.
The volunteer will be the child's main advocate for the case. As well, the volunteer will work with other professionals to meet the needs of the child. Other professionals may include: school social worker, counselor, teacher, nurse, attendance officer, principal, child’s doctor/dentist, and other social service agencies.
One of the most important aspects of the volunteer's involvement is the development of a relationship between the child/family and volunteer. The volunteer will make regular contact with the family to encourage the child to attend school, as well as help to identify the consequences of poor school attendance. If issues continue to arise regarding the child's attendance, the volunteer will assist the family by directing them to appropriate resources to help alleviate the pressing issues affecting school attendance. If the attendance does not improve, the volunteer will remain in close contact with the school social worker, as a Family With Service Needs petition may be filed in juvenile court. By focusing on the issue of chronic absenteeism through early intervention, the child's attendance can be directed to a successful pattern without court involvement.
Volunteer as Lawyer and Advocate:
-The attorney will be present at all hearings and will represent the child in any court proceedings
pertaining to school attendance issues.
-Always keeping in mind the best interests of the child, the attorney will advocate for services and
programs which will address the causes of the truancy.
-The attorney will not be required to represent the child in delinquency, special education or
deprivation issues should they arise during the case, but may elect to do so.
-The attorney will identify needs in the child’s life that are contributing to the child’s truancy and will
assist in locating resources to meet those needs.
-The attorney does not represent the parent/family of the child.
If you are interested in volunteering with the Truancy Intervention Project, please contact us.