Berks County Truancy Program
Created in 2011, the Berks County Truancy Reduction Initiative is a community response designed to address the critical issue of truancy in Berks County schools. Following the release of the Pennsylvania State Roundtable’s Truancy: A Call To Action Report, which recognized Berks County as having one of the highest habitual truancy rates in the state, the Berks County Commissioners and Judges convened a series of stakeholder meetings to gather input on this growing problem. It was out of these gatherings that the Truancy Reduction Initiative was born. This collaborative effort includes representatives from the education system, courts, juvenile probation, mental health, and the county children and youth agency. At the forefront of the Initiative is the Truancy Remediation Program. Schools, Magisterial District Judges, pediatricians, and other interested partners in the community are now able to make referrals to the program with the ultimate goal being to reengage students, reduce truancy, and increase graduation rates. This program, funded by the Berks County Juvenile Probation Office and Berks County Children and Youth Services, through the Human Services Block Grant, is currently operated by Service Access and Management Inc. (SAM) and is able to serve approximately 200 students each school year.