Managing School Absenteeism at Multiple Tiers
School absenteeism is a pervasive and difficult problem faced by mental health and school-based professionals. Even in mild forms, school absenteeism has been shown to be a significant risk factor for social, behavioral, and academic problems in middle childhood and adolescence, as well as psychiatric, economic, and occupational difficulties in adulthood. Problematic absenteeism has been examined for decades by professionals of many different disciplines, leading to a considerably fractured literature. Managing School Absenteeism at Multiple Tiers provides an integrative strategy for preventing, assessing, and addressing cases of youth with school absenteeism at multiple levels of severity and complexity. Dr. Christopher Kearney presents a multi-tiered framework based on prevention (Tier 1), early intervention for emerging cases (Tier 2), and more extensive intervention and systemic strategies for severe cases (Tier 3). Each tier is based on empirically supported strategies from the literature, and emphasis is placed on specific, implementable recommendations. This approach is based on a Response to Intervention model that has emerged as a powerful guide to prevention, assessment, and treatment of social and academic problems in schools. Response to Intervention is based upon tenets that parallel developments in the school absenteeism literature: (1) a proactive focus on early identification of learning and behavior problems and immediate, effective intervention, (2) universal, targeted, and intensive interventions, (3) frequent progress monitoring, (4) functional behavioral assessment, (5) empirically supported treatment procedures and protocols to reduce obstacles to academic achievement (including absenteeism), and (6) a team-based approach for implementation. This user-friendly, practical guide will be useful to mental health professionals, school administrators, guidance counselors, social workers and psychologists, as well as others who address kids with problematic absenteeism such as pediatricians and probation officers.