Finally...the Dept of Education will get involved

yabberNovember 26, 2010

And it's about time!!!!

SD14 went back to her mum's after she stayed with us for almost 3 weeks: and has hardly been to school since. She missed 2 days the first week back at BM's, 2 days the second week, and she hasn't been at all this week. SD12 has stayed home about the same.

FDH has been contacting the school again, and again, and again, and today, FINALLY, they've agreed to get the Dept of Education involved. Jeez, that only took 4 years...

Anyway, so happy it's finally happening now!!

It means that an officer might start coming to the house to check when the kids stay home. I know that BM will probably try and solve that by making the kids wear pj's and instruct them to tell the officer they're sick, but I hope that it will be an incentive to take them to school more. After all it's going to be harder to continue doing all other activities when someone is checking on how sick they really are (now SD14 will still go to work, both SD's play basketball after having the day of school, they go shopping, to the movies, to visit family in the city etc etc.)

I'm also hoping that they'll require medical certificates for all those days off, that will make it harder as well to continue with what she's doing.

Does anyone have experience with the Dept of Education getting involved?

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Most schools have a truency shouldnt have been so hard to get them involved. What they will do is contact mom tell her kids need to be in school. If after this they miss a day and mom doesnt call and say theyre going to dr, officer will go to house. If kids seem well he will bring them to school. They then will launch an investigation into it. A) are kids refusing B) is mom just sitting back and allowing or not waking up to bring them etc etc. if she is found at fault a 51a can be filed, if kids are found to be refusing a truency chins will be put on them. Once they have a chins department of social services or family services will begin to track them. If while on chins they miss school, skip school without a note they will have to go to court. They will A. put them on probation or B. give them community service. If they get put on probation and they violate they will be removed from mom and A. placed with dad or b. juvenile detention center. If 51a is filed on mom (neglect and/or abuse charge)dss or dcyf will investigate into absences dr appt etc. If they find she isnt being negligent it will be dropped, but truancy officer will still monitor kids attendance. if she is found guilty dss will try intervention, once involved with dss and absences missed dr visits etc will be reported straight to them. They will then go to house to investigate. If mom continues to keep kids home they will remove them from her custody. This is not black and white they will question children and mom seperate counselors drs school teachers dad and you as well. They will speak to neighbors and relatives. if she is doing something wrong and if it can be proven they will know. They are also specifically trained to deal with these issues. Also if you dont hear back id call the local police station and just ask to speak to the truancy officer.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 3:20AM
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I would not get my hopes up. For years, the schools led me to believe that if kids missed too many days, they would take action. Of course, when my oldest son was a freshman in HS, he decided he didn't really want to get up & go to school anymore... he wanted to sleep in. I had to be at work by 7am but he didn't have to be at school until 8:30, so taking him before work was not possible. He was supposed to get up & walk about half a mile to the school, but when I called at 8 to check, he was home. I had to take my morning break at 8 & go home to drag him outta bed & drive him to school... nearly on a daily basis. Then one day he said no, he's not going. He was 6' tall & I'm 5'2", I couldn't physically MAKE him... so I called the school. I asked for the truant officer & they sent him over. He got there & basically told me they can't put their hands on him to make him go to school so they called the police department. The officer basically said the same thing, they can't put him in the car & take him to school... but they WOULD take action against me. They could file a complaint for my failing to get him to go to school. It was the most frustrating situation I've ever been in. After they basically told my son there is nothing anybody can do, it just got worse.... because he thought nothing would happen. It took drastic measures, but I did what I felt was the only thing I could do at the time... I had him arrested. He spent a few days in juvenile hall & had to have an ankle monitor until court. At the hearing, I told the Judge how he wouldn't go to school & everything I had tried. He was given probation & ordered to attend school every day unless he had a doctor's note... violation of probation was 30 days in juvenile hall. He never missed another day of school after that. But, the whole situation cause me to lose faith in the system that is supposedly set up to help kids & keep them in school.. but I also knew lots of parents that let kids stay home all the time & nothing ever happened to them. The schools push for good attendance when they are younger because it develops a good habit & they really push it because it brings in revenue. As they get older, the schools (in my opinion) give up on kids that refuse to go to school or whose parents let them stay home. Maybe if dad makes enough noise, they will do something about it... but more likely take action against the mom (which is a start if she is allowing the kid to stay home) but it doesn't always help get the kid back in school.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 1:24AM
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mommyjoof3 thanks for the detailed info :-)
Unfortunately things don't always go as they should when it comes to this. We have tried for years to get the kids to attend more, and BM has blatantly gotten away with keeping them home even more! It's almost like she's making a point: "I can do what I want and you can't stop me!"

The truency officer at the school is the one who is going to get the Dept involved, and they will send someone around the house. In the past we already tried to go down this road when they were in primary. The school refused to cooperate by saying they were applying a 5-step program, but really they got stuck in step no.1 and refused to take it further. So we took it further and went to Dept of Edu, only to be blown off by them as well, and CPS as well as police. We are in Australia, maybe that is different to US as well?

Anyway, now that SD14 is in high school we try again. And SD12 is going to go there in February as well.

I'll google the 51a to see what that is, and what does truency chins mean? Sorry, English is not my first language, sometimes I get caught out!

And ima, what a story that is, pfew. I can imagine your dispair, but you did the right thing getting him sorted out :-) Is that your son who's in the army now?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 3:27AM
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A 51a is when someone suspects neglect or abuse in us. They simply call police or child protective services and file a complaint. Then child protective services has to investigate within 30 days depending on the severity. A truancy chins is when the courts place an order on a child for refusing school. The child is forced to sign a contact binding them to attend school and lists the consequences that they agree to for being absent. Another chins is a stubborn child. This one is used for run aways or generally difficult children. This chins gives truancy officers, police or other authority the permission to physically take a child to school. Having a chins takes parents legal custody away while physical custody remains with parent. So basically your child becomes a ward of the state but as long as they behave remain in your home. Im not familiar with Australian laws, but if children are having excessive absences, school can notify dad and dad can go and MAKE them go to school! I am sure that this can be rather inconvenient and may not be an option. Another option is to get school records and go before a judge. Dad can either attempt getting custody during school year or have judge order mom to enforce schooling. In America this would not fly if kids are out for more than 48 hours a dr note is required.If there are more than 5 unexcused absences truancy officer will be called.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 4:50AM
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