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Truancy Court

The Truancy Court Program in Hillsborough County began in December of 2006 in the Unified Family Court Division with Administrative Judge Herbert Baumann.  The goal of truancy court is to ensure that students attend school and to intervene before they become involved in dependency or delinquency divisions of the court.  To help achieve this goal, the program provides many resources to the student and families.


The process begins when the School Board Attorney, on behalf of the Superintendent of Schools, files the truancy petition. The petition includes the referral packet from the social worker that outlines the previous interventions the school has made with the student and family. The clerk then issues a summons to the parent and student to appear in court for a truancy hearing in Unified Family Court. A truancy hearing is to be held within thirty days of the petition being filed. The following parties are required to attend the hearing: Presiding Judge, Clerk, School Board Attorney, Parent/Guardian, Student, Supervisor of Attendance, School Social Worker, Success 4 Kids and Families Systems Navigator, Truancy Case Manager, and any other agency already involved with the family.


The purpose of Truancy Court is to create an emphasis on informed handling of family court cases and has brought attention to risk factors found in families of chronically dependent and delinquent youth.  Youth referred to Truancy Court by SDHC have failed to respond to multiple interventions offered by the school district and have violated the compulsory school attendance laws.  Youth appear in front of the Truancy Court judge to discuss the non-attendance and interventions are put in place to increase the chances of school success.