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My 15 year old daughter will not go to school. School has involved CPS. What will happen now?

"I have a 15 year old daughter who will not go to school. She only goes when she feels like it, and normally if she does go, she will just walk out and go to her boyfriend's house whatever period it might be. The school said since she is a minor she needs to go to school, and she still doesn't really go. Now the school got CPS involved. What will happen if we go to court? Will they take my daughter away from me? Or will she be given to another family member? What will happen?"

Asked by Samantha in commenting on the article, "When Your Child Refuses to Go to School": http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Schoo...
In Topics: My Relationship with my child's school, Teen issues, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Mar 9, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Hello Samantha,

Thanks for writing to www.education.com with your parenting dilemma. It sounds as if you have a real challenge on your hands. While it is unfortunate that the school has contacted Child Protective Services, the result might mean a very positive change for your daughter. Perhaps she will realize the seriousness of the situation and make the necessary changes in her behavior.

Although it might seem like a drastic step, the school is doing the right thing by taking issue with your daughter's disrespect for rules and authority. Every public school has the responsibility to contact CPS whenever efforts to curb absences with students fail. Your question about what might happen next is one that can only be answered by CPS.

In most situations, a preliminary investigation will help to determine if there are other concerns that need to be addressed. For instance, is your daughter using drugs or alcohol? Is she breaking other laws such as violating curfew or stealing?
Once the situation has been reviewed (usually by interviewing you, any other parents in the home, school staff and your daughter) a caseworker will inform you of what steps, if any, will be taken to help your family.  Possible options for your daughter might include attending an alternative program (rather than returning to her home school), wearing an electronic device to monitor her whereabouts or reporting to a juvenile probation officer for weekly check in meetings.  Consequences for you might mean attending parenting classes, meeting with an counselor, in or out of your home or in very serious situations losing custody of your daughter.  

Because she is so defiant with regard to school attendance, is it safe to assume that she is also not following the rules of your home or respecting your authority either?

Although she is already 15, it is never too late to teach and reinforce the basic skills of following instructions, accepting feedback, accepting consequences and problem solving. For help with this parenting responsibility, don't hesitate to contact the Boys Town National Hotline for assistance. At the Hotline, trained parenting counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at our toll free number of
1-800-448-3000.

In addition to contacting the Hotline, check out www.parenting.org for lots of good parenting tips and articles on all child rearing topics.

We wish you well in this challenge.

Sincerely,

Linda, Counselor
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
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