The goal of the Kansas City Truancy Court is to ensure that children between the ages of 7 and 17 are in school as mandated by law. Assistance may be available through a number of programs and services offered by agencies that have partnered with the court and/ or school to combat truancy, educational neglect, and many other obstacles that may stand in the way of a child’s educational success. Parental participation is critical to your child’s success in school.
Types of cases
Educational Neglect: involves school-age children who are significantly dependent upon a parent or legal guardian for daily needs.
Truancy: involves those who are not completely dependent upon a parent or legal guardian for daily needs.
What happens in Truancy Court?
- Citations for failing to comply with attendance policies are written to the parents or legal guardians who. Most districts require 90% attendance. The penalty is a fine of up to $500.
- On the first court appearance, parents and guardians will be arraigned (read the facts alleged in the citation and the range of punishment).
- The court will then determine whether the parent or guardian is willing to cooperate with assistance, if necessary, to bring the child or children back into compliance with the compulsory attendance laws.
- Since a parent or guardian is subject to a fine only, the Court will not appoint legal representation. All parties are strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney if they believe it is in their best interest to be represented.
- Court relies heavily on partnerships with participating school districts and community based organizations to address the needs of the children and parents.
- Resources available are: counseling, assistance, tutoring, and mentoring.
Issues addressed through Truancy Court
- substance abuse
- behavioral and mental health issues
- reasonable accommodations for children with disabilities
- language barriers
- the role of the child in the home