School Interventionists identify and coordinate behavioral or academic intervention for a student. Youth can be referred to the School Interventionist for attendance issues, poor grades, lack of engagement, and/or behavior issues. The intervention process includes clearly identifying the problem, selecting a strategy to address the problem, and measuring the effectiveness of the strategy. The intervention can include other supports for the youth within the school or community. In interviewing School Interventionists, they are often responsible for addressing a range of school and home issues, and often use a range of activities to do so. These activities fall within three identified evidence-based practices including: building social and emotional competencies, focusing on protective factors to improve school engagement, and being a supportive adult and building relationships with youth they serve. Of the eight programs that have been funded over the course of the project, two of the School Interventionists programs receive referrals from diversion programs and serve youth on diversion who are also having school issues. The other programs often receive referrals from school counselors or other mental health/social workers. Generally, Interventionists focus on school-related issues, such as improving grades, attendance, or school engagement; however, they also focus on addressing issues at home. One program primarily addressed absenteeism. The programs varied in terms of the level of risk of the youth served. While some indicated higher rates of prior law violations, others reported a higher level of aggressive behavior and many reported youth came from high risk environments. Four of the programs had sufficient cases to examine outcomes (at least 80% of their cases were discharged). Of these, there were high rates of youth successfully completing the program (or a neutral discharge, such as transferring schools). In examining school-related outcomes for two of these programs that had sufficient data to do so (at least 80% of the data was complete), School Interventionists appear to be most successful at improving grades and improving school engagement, with less success at improving attendance (in both programs attendance did not improve). We were able to examine future system involvement for the four programs. Specifically, each program had between 1.3% and 2.4% of youth with a status offense court filing. Law violation rates were more variable across programs—with a range of 1.6% to 13.1%. Programs with higher future system involvement rates were also those programs with higher risk youth, based on information programs provided about high-risk environment, aggressive behavior, and previous law violations.
Wylie, Lindsey; Wasserburger, Erin; Hobbs, Anne M.; and Juvenile Justice Institute, University of Nebraska at Omaha, "School Interventionists FY 2015-2020" (2021). Reports. 9.