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Finding Effective Ways to Reduce Truancy: An Evaluation of the Ramsey County Truancy Intervention Programs, Executive Summary

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2019
22 pages
This is the executive summary of a report on a quasi-experimental study with the objective of determining the effects on school attendance of two truancy court-diversion programs in Ramsey County, Minnesota.
One program, the Truancy Intervention Program (TIP) is designed for adolescents ages 12-17. The second program, called the Family Truancy Intervention Program (FTIP), is for children ages 5-11. The overall objective of the evaluation was to determine whether TIP and FTIP increased school attendance above and beyond the standard practice of direct petition to juvenile court (TIP) or referral to child protective services for educational neglect (FTIP). The evaluation also focused on whether there are racial or ethnic disparities in the rates of referral to TIP or FTIP. This report briefly describes the features of each program and the data collection procedures used for the evaluation of each program. Using matched sampling and dynamic difference-in-differences models with population data, the evaluation found that involvement in TIP or FTIP did not improve either short-term or long-term attendance among students with five or more unexcused absences, relative to the matched comparison group from a contiguous, demographically similar county where the program was not available. There were no racial or ethnic disparities in referrals to TIP or FTIP based on the referral criterion of five or more unexcused absences; however, in middle and high schools, Black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and Asian youth were all more likely to e referred to TIP than White youth, because each absence of theirs was more likely to be coded as unexcused. 9 figures

Date Published: September 1, 2019