Schools are required to make efforts to resolve students’ attendance issues with the family. If problems continue, the school can submit a referral to Washington County when a student accumulates at least three but no more than six unexcused absences.
At the time of referral to Social Services, intervention services are designed to address attendance issues prior to a child protection referral, giving the family an opportunity to make necessary changes to correct the problem.
A Washington County social worker will set up a meeting with the school and parents to establish a contract in which the parents agree to address issues impacting their child’s school attendance, and to ensure their child’s regular attendance for the remainder of the school year.
Seven unexcused absences fall under the state guidelines for educational neglect and therefore, a referral to child protection. Correcting the problem removes the need for a child protection investigation.