In Youth Service, Inc. Spotlights, we aim to recognize clients who have overcome their hardships to find success through our programming. In this post, we are highlighting our Truancy Intervention and Prevention Services (TIPS) program. TIPS is a school based and home-based prevention program, which works with students and their families in NW Philadelphia who have truancy concerns. The TIPS case manager collaborates with the family to address the factors contributing to truancy with the goal of increasing attendance and success in school.

In April 2019, a Student Attendance and Improvement Plan (SAIP) conference was held for Q. and T. who are 7th and 8th grade students.  Both youth had more than 30 unexcused absences during the school year and were late 35 times. They were arriving to school around 11 am daily. Parental involvement appeared to be low and the siblings seemed to be making their own rules.

During the meeting, Q explained the difficulties of life for him and his sister at their home. Q was scheduled to graduate in June and planned on attending high school in the fall of 2019. YSI staff provided some insight on what his life will look like in 9th grade if he continued to miss days and arrive to school late by informing him that the staff at the school would not be supportive or understanding regarding his truancy and tardiness. Following discussion, Q was given the goal of attending school daily and on time until the end of the school year with the focus of getting back on track with his education. As an extra incentive, Q was informed that if he could attend school daily and on time, YSI would provide him with a gift card as an incentive and as a reward.

We are proud to say that Q was able to achieve his goal and is now successfully attending his freshman year of high school! Through YSI’s involvement, he was able to also support his sister with improving her attendance.

The school staff were very impressed that Q and his sister were able to complete his goal and did so without much support from home. The improvement that was shown by these siblings was amazing, especially without parental support! Reaching out to Q and his sister, listening and encouraging them, motivated Q to take the lead on improving school attendance. The gift card was a little extra and greatly appreciated.