Ages Under 12 - Educational Neglect Diversion Services

What is Diversion Services? 

Educational neglect diversion services are designed to address school attendance issues prior to a child protection assessment or investigation. It is an opportunity to give the family support to make necessary changes to correct the problem.

Schools are required to notify Washington County Community Services if a child younger than the age of 12 has been absent without legal excuse for three to five days. At this point, a county school attendance social worker will arrange a meeting with the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the school. The goal of the meeting is to establish a contract in which the parent(s)/guardian(s) agree to address issues impacting their child's school attendance and to assure their child's regular attendance for the remainder of the school year.

If students continue to be absent from school without a legally justifiable excuse, a report may be made to Child Protection for further assessment of the situation.

For students that are 11 and younger, it is primarily the responsibility of the parent(s)/guardian(s) to ensure attendance.

Educational Neglect Diversion Referral Form

Child Protection Intervention

If the parent(s)/guardian(s) fail to compel their child's school attendance, any or all of the following consequences may happen:

  • A child maltreatment report can be made alleging that the child is being educationally neglected. The family will then be the subject of a child protective services investigation. If it is determined that educational neglect has occurred, there could be further legal proceedings. A case file will be maintained for 10 years.
  • A Child in Need of Protection or Services Petition (CHIPS) can be filed in court. You will be summoned to appear before a judge regarding the educational neglect concerns.
  • The court can place the child under protective supervision of Social Services and the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be required to comply with a case plan to correct the conditions resulting in court action.
  • A child can be removed from their parents'/guardians' care/custody and placed outside the home in relative or foster care. Moreover, the parent(s)/guardian(s) are required to pay for the cost of care based on ability to do so, as determined by Washington County.
  • If the child is in need of special care or treatment, the court may order that it is provided. If the parent(s)/guardian(s) are unable or unwilling to do so, the court may order that it be provided.