Federal Grant School-Justice Awardees to Present Early Warning System Results of Pilot Program in Austintown, Boardman, Struthers and Mahoning County High School Districts

April 24, 2017

School Justice Partnership(Youngstown, Ohio) Mahoning County Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick and School Justice Grant Partner Superintendents: Vince Colaluca, Austintown Schools; Tim Saxton, Boardman Schools; Jenifer Merrit, Mahoning County High School; and Pete Pirone, Struthers Schools, will present the progress made combating truancy and connecting students to needed resources during the 2016-2017 school year, in their respective districts. 

Teri Deal, M.Ed, Senior Research Associate from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, a technical assistance provider for the School Justice Partnership grant provided by the U.S. Department of Justice/Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, responsible for data analysis will present how the program has impacted truancy referrals. Judge Dellick will address how the programs’ social worker works directly with families to ensure that obstacles contributing to truancy are being overcome and how engaging families in their homes and meeting families where they are is often the starting point to better outcomes. 

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges along with its partners assist jurisdictions across the country build school-justice partnerships aimed at keeping kids in school and out of court through the School-Justice Partnership National Resource Center, (schooljusticepartnership.org). 

According to Ms. Deal, “School-Justice partnerships engage educators, law enforcement, mental and behavioral health professionals, and juvenile justice officials to establish collaborative processes that support student succeed both in school and in the community. The participating Mahoning County schools and agencies embody the spirit of school-justice partnerships with its implementation of Early Warning Systems. Under Judge Dellick’s strong leadership, Mahoning County’s School Justice Partnership demonstrates the power of school, the juvenile court and community agencies working together. Their data-driven, developmentally focused, and collaborative Early warning System, has already provided assistance to dozens of youth and families who may have otherwise been underserved and is poised to produce positive outcomes for the entire community. “

Joe Shorokey, Director of ALTA CareGroup will discuss how his organization has partnered with the Court and grant schools to provide free mental health screening to assist families with identifying their child’s needs to help ensure that any obstacle to education are being identified and addressed.

Mr. Shorokey encourages parents to consider the free screenings to ensure that their child’s needs are being addressed, which will result in better long term outcomes for both the child and family unit.

The pilot Early Warning System Program was launched two years ago and continues to provide partner school districts with social services, mental and behavioral health screening and in school evidence based programs to support schools and their students. 

Request for Media Coverage on April 24, 2017 @ 9:30 are at Mahoning County Juvenile Court. 

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