Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Ande Nesmith

Abstract

Truancy continues to be a nation-wide problem that is destroying the opportunity for educational success and future employment for countless adolescents. This complex social issue has been found to have many factors that contribute to it, while at the same time, this issue contributes to many other risk factors in a youth’s life. The purpose of this project was to explore the relationship between the professional school staff and families that have students experiencing chronic truancy and to distinguish effective interventions and the contributing factors to this social issue. Using a qualitative design, six volunteer middle school professional staff were interviewed regarding their perceptions about the effective way to engage a family in the intervention process of conquering the student’s absenteeism, while also looking at effectiveness in family engagement. The data was analyzed using grounded theory to analyze the data from the transcriptions. The interview responses were then linked to the literature review. The findings indicated that all of the professionals valued the importance of building a strong relationship with the families and engaging them in the process to eliminate the unexcused absences. In addition it was discovered that the school personnel found it beneficial to have some rigid systems in place, but at times these rigid systems could be detrimental to the engagement process with the school and family. These findings accentuate the importance of a positive school and family relationship to prevent chronic truancy.

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