Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2004, $197,895)
Through an interagency agreement the Baltimore Truancy Assessment Center (B-TAC) was developed and implemented to assist parents, schools and the greater Baltimore Community. B-TAC was set-up by the Baltimore City Public School System and its School Police Force in a collaborative effort with the Baltimore City Police Department, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Juvenile Services and the Baltimore Housing Authority Police. The overarching goal of B-TAC is to have an effective inter-agency process to reduce truancy and to increase the educational exposure of the school-aged youth of Baltimore City. The goals are to: reduce school-aged traffic in the neighborhoods; decrease the number of infractions by school-aged youth during school hours; lower dropout rates; reduce feelings of isolation and desertion by students and families; loosen "the streets" hold on the City youth; reduce neighborhood fears, and improve illiteracy. B-TAC serves 183 schools and 91,175 students in the school system. B-TAC provides all services in one location, which eliminates numerous appointments (as well as failure to keep appointments); the traditional "run-a-round" that families complain of; transportation worries; and a delay of much needed services. A service plan is developed, reviewed and scheduled for immediate implementation. A truancy court is held one to two times a month in a school; however it is not in every school. A partnership with the Law Department of the University of Maryland allows the law students, as part of their field study and/or community service experience, to serve as the "Judge" at a Truancy Court.