The Phoenix/New Freedom Truancy Resource is composed of a variety of tools and guidance designed for one-on-one interactions at home, in school, or at a police station or other community settings that deal with truancy. In addition to staff and student resources, it includes an 8-hour workbook-based curriculum that can be used in a group setting or as homework in an ongoing one-on-one interaction with truants.
The Phoenix/New Freedom Truancy Resource includes:
- Decision Matrix for addressing truancy issues. This model identifies different types of situations which could be resulting in truancy. It lists a variety of possible causes or issues, and then suggests options for the counselor to consider. For each student, the counselor can evaluate which causes or issues are most likely, and then prioritize their response accordingly. It specifically addresses common things students might find more important than school, as well as external barriers and internal barriers contributing to truancy.
- Truancy Scenarios. These scenarios address common truancy issues and risk factors. Participants are asked to respond to and give advice about the situations in the scenarios. They are good for assisting discussion in 1:1 sessions or as openers for the 8 group lessons.
- Motivation for change assessment. This collection of short truancy-focused Motivational Interviewing (MI) initial assessment and change tools are perfect for any truancy situation. They include a decisional balancing tool and several MI rulers, along with probe questions that help students consider the pros and cons of school and its impact on their lives.
- School engagement assessment. Brief assessment of student engagement and student-specific risk factors. It helps guide the focus of school resource-based interventions. The objective of each section is to provide school counselors or staff with an understanding of the studentís engagement, and thus provide the opportunity to explore and resolve the underlying issues.
- Addressing Peer Influence barriers. Specific resources and MI tools to address peer influence on truancy. Included are other elements which address gang influence, anxiety about threats posed by other gangs, being the target of bullying, peer-group bullying, or cyberbullying, or other threats to the studentís safety or well-being.
- Addressing barriers with Authority Figures. Specific resources for use with students who have difficulties with multiple authority figures.
- Action Plan. A brief action plan for change that breaks down the steps each individual is planning to take to deal with his/her truancy, including completion dates.
- 8-Hour Program for groups. 8, one-hour sessions for use in groups. These workbook pages can also be assigned as homework for an individual or used one-on-one with a counselor.
Together, the resources provide a flexible system of materials that can be shaped for the specific need of each individual truant.
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