Prevention Strategies for At-risk Youth

Attendance Mediation Workshops (AMW’s) have been implemented by several cities as a prevention tool for heading off continued or increased absenteeism. Attendance workshops are most often targeted towards students with emerging attendance problems and have demonstrated promising results. In addition, these programs serve as an alternative to formal court proceedings, offering participating schools an alternative to filing a Truancy petition. 

Objectives:

  • Partner with DPS to facilitate attendance mediation workshops for students close to, or exceeding the number of allowable absences within a school year. 
  • Provide short-term case planning, monitoring and/or direct services in collaboration with the referring school to remove identified barriers to school attendance for students/families that choose to participate.     

Successes:

An analysis of the initial attendance mediation workshop conducted by the Mayor’s Office of Education and Children (MOEC), compared attendance workshop participants to truancy court participants.  93% of the attendance mediation workshop participants were still enrolled in school at the time of the report compared to 34% of Truancy Court participants.  In addition, the same analysis determined the overall cost per student was lower for attendance workshop participants with $175.00 compared to $1,578.96 for truancy court participants.

 

 

 

 

 

Efficiencies created:

  • The Truancy Court docket is often back logged as it operates on a very limited schedule.  The timeliness of intervention is critical and by allocating existing resources to serve more students for whom absenteeism is negatively impacting academic performance and achievement SCO programming is  providing services to at-risk youth and families currently not receiving support services.    
The Creative Options Committee which is tasked with developing effective strategies for increasing school attendance, identified gaps in services and effective interventions to address gaps such as AMW’s.  An analysis of the initial AMW process from the Mayor’s Office of Education and Children (MOEC) comparing AMW participants to Truancy Court participants showed 93% of AMW participants were still enrolled in school at the time of the report compared to 34% of Truancy Court participants.  In addition, the same analysis determined AMW’s cost per student was $175.00 compared to $1,578.96 for Truancy Court participants.  SCO serves as the city’s lead through the Creative Options Committee and coordinates with DPS and other partners to co-facilitate AMW’s at seven DPS schools.  Diversion Officers are also available to assist families with questions and facilitate access to requested services.     
The Creative Options Committee which is tasked with developing effective strategies for increasing school attendance, identified gaps in services and effective interventions to address gaps such as AMW’s.  An analysis of the initial AMW process from the Mayor’s Office of Education and Children (MOEC) comparing AMW participants to Truancy Court participants showed 93% of AMW participants were still enrolled in school at the time of the report compared to 34% of Truancy Court participants.  In addition, the same analysis determined AMW’s cost per student was $175.00 compared to $1,578.96 for Truancy Court participants.  SCO serves as the city’s lead through the Creative Options Committee and coordinates with DPS and other partners to co-facilitate AMW’s at seven DPS schools.  Diversion Officers are also available to assist families with questions and facilitate access to requested services.     
The Voluntary Diversion Program serves as a prevention program that helps address the needs of young people who are engaging in delinquent behavior and are at risk of entering the juvenile justice system without some sort of intervention.  The process works the same as the Municipal Juvenile Diversion Program in that an assessment is completed and a diversion plan is created to include services that will address root-issue causes of delinquent behavior.  


All services that are available to youth on court-related diversion are also available to youth on voluntary diversion, including:
  • anger management/conflict resolution
  • drug and alcohol classes
  • gang intervention and family workshops
Referrals to the program come from a variety of sources including parents, school officials and police officers to name a few. 
 
Parents and schools can make a referral  by contacting us via email or by calling (720) 913-4620. 

Denver's “National Night Out” is one-night event that is part of a nationwide program to prevent crime. The event involves law enforcement officers, citizens, business groups and neighborhood organizations from across the country. Last year, more than 37 million people participated in this incredible program.

National Night Out is designed to:

  • Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness\Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs
  • Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships
  • Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back

Along with the traditional display of outdoor lights and front porch vigils, cities, towns and neighborhoods celebrate National Night Out with a variety of events and activities such as:

  • block parties
  • cookouts
  • visits from local police and sheriff departments
  • parades, exhibits, flashlight walks, and contests

National Night Out has proven to be an effective, inexpensive and enjoyable program to promote neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships in our fight for a safer nation. 

The Denver Public Safety Youth Leadership Team is made up of young people (13-18) looking to take an active role in the community.  The all-day summit is designed to give youth an opportunity to discuss issues they face, support programs and policies that better the lives of youth within the Denver-metro area, and develop an ongoing partnership within the community.


Youth Summit sponsors and participants challenge young people to engage in meaningful dialogue with city leaders about issues ranging from health, safety, secondary education, and job readiness. Since its inception, the youth summit has been attended by over 15,000 youth and adults. 

For additional information contact Theresa Kimmet at (720) 913-4622.

Contact Us

Juvenile Intervention & Diversion
Denver Public Safety Youth Programs

303 West Colfax Avenue, Suite 1000
Denver, Colorado 80204

Phone: (720) 913-4620
Email: safetyyouthprograms@denvergov.org
Website: www.denvergov.org/safetyyouthprograms

Charlotte Stephens, Director
Email: charlotte.stephens@denvergov.org

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