Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court

This page provides resources for the courts and their justice and education partners to better understand the problems associated with chronic absenteeism and school discipline, as well as how they can work together to address these problems.
The final report of former Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye's Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court Initiative can be viewed here

What's New

Kristina’s Story: Reflections from a Former Foster Youth (Podcast)

Listen - (33:27)  (Transcript)

This podcast is a conversation with a young woman who spent 13 years in the foster care system and shared her experiences at a KKIS convening. She shares her reflections on what judges, social workers, and others can do to improve the experience of children and youth in foster care and how they can better assist them to meet their educational goals.

Leadership Designed to Keep Kids in School and Out of Court

Listen - (34:35) (Transcript)

This podcast is a conversation between former Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond about the importance of education in preventing criminal justice system involvement and the importance of collaboration between courts and other stakeholder in prioritizing educational success for children under the jurisdiction of juvenile courts.

Supporting the Mental Health of Youth in Juvenile Court Podcast
Listen - 15:48   (Transcript)
This podcast features an interview with Judge Donna Groman, who presides over the mental health court at the Los Angeles Superior Court and Rebecca Gudeman, Senior Director of Adolescent Health at the National Center for Youth Law. Judge Groman served for many years in juvenile delinquency court and is a member of the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges Juvenile Law Advisory Committee, the Board of State and Community Corrections Juvenile Justice Standing Committee, and the co-chair of the Chief Justice’s Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court Initiative Steering Committee. Ms. Gudeman is an expert on minor consent, confidentiality and information sharing law, and on issues of health access for youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. In addition to her advocacy work at NCYL, she trains and consults nationally on these issues. Judge Groman and Ms. Gudeman and Judge Groman worked together to produce a resource guide and bench cards on how to support the mental health of youth in juvenile court.

Two new resources now available! “Supporting the Mental Health of Youth in Juvenile Court” provides judges with a set of bench cards and companion resource guide that offers a wealth information about mental health diagnosis, treatment, resources, and more.

The “Understanding Trauma and Supporting Educational Opportunity” bench cards describe how trauma can impact educational attainment, set forth how to highlight education at every hearing, and provide guidance on creating trauma informed spaces for children and youth.

While both of these resources are intended for use by judges in the courtroom, they will also serve as excellent resources for attorneys representing youth.

Keeping Kids in School & Out of Court Initiative

The Summit was held on December 4, 2013 in Anaheim, in conjunction with the Beyond the Bench Conference. Attendees can find information and materials related to the Summit here.

About Chronic Absenteeism and School Discipline

Learn about the shocking statistics of truancy and the effects that school discipline has had on students.  Find resources to help you better understand what it is all about.