School social workers are an integral part of the school team of educators and who strive to support positive attendance for all students. Research has shown that consistent school attendance is linked to academic performance and enhanced opportunities.
Hillsborough County Public Schools has policies and procedures to support regular attendance with a goal of 96% for all students. The district uses a multi-tiered system of support for early identification of students who are developing a pattern of non-attendance since this may lead to a greater risk of dropping out and other maladaptive behaviors.
Students may be referred for social work services when a pattern of non-attendance continues. Utilizing the Multi-Tiered System Support (MTSS)/Response to Intervention (RtI) model, School Social workers partner with students, families and educators to help identify needs and reduce barriers to school attendance. In partnership with families and educators to help identify needs and reduce barriers to school attendance. In partnership with families, the school social worker develops written attendance remediation plans for all students requiring this level of support. This process may include making referrals and coordinating services with community agencies.
A limited number of students require intensive interventions such as the Attendance Review Board, Truancy Court, Truancy Diversion, or Children in Need of Services/Family in Need of Services (CINS/FINS) Case Staffing Committee. These are available to assist students and families when previous attempts to address non-attendance have not been successful.