Westchester Court Education Initiative

The Westchester Court Education Initiative is a unique program that promotes educational stability and academic success for students who have struggled with juvenile delinquency and/or whose parents are in Family Court due to allegations of neglect or abuse. The goal is to help address issues that may be negatively affecting school attendance and academic performance for troubled young people (ages 3-21). 

How It Works

The Westchester Court Education Initiative is located on-site in family court, and consists of two part-time education advisors with masters-level expertise in education methodology, conflict resolution, child development, and federal and New York State laws. These education advisors consult with family court judges regarding the educational status of court-involved children and work collaboratively with parents/guardians to assist children in articulating and achieving educational goals. Each educational advisor provides the following services to participating young people:

  • Reviewing educational, attendance, and discipline records, with a focus on special education needs and entitlements.
  • Providing communication and coordination between family court judges, Department of Social Services, school districts, and attorneys in order to ensure educational stability.
  • Providing individual advocacy to court-involved children.
  • Providing community trainings for parents and professionals that work directly with youth.

Education advisors also submit reports to the court for each family with whom they work, and based on these reports, including documented improvements in attendance and school performance, a substantial number of cases were settled.

Results

In 2010, 80 children were served through the Westchester Education Initiative. Sixty-one of these children significantly improved attendance as measured by report cards, attendance, and progress reports. Project staff also helped 46 students to obtain an appropriate Individualized Education Program (IEP) placement and services, and 13 of those children received a revamped IEP to better reflect their education needs. 

Partners

The Westchester Court Education Initiative works in partnership with the Office of Court Administration and the Westchester Family Court.

Featured Research

Publications

From Drug Court to Classroom: Creating a Court to College Program (Practitioners Manual)

From Drug Court to Classroom: Creating a Court to College Program (Practitioners Manual)

By Corey Calabrese, Valerie Raine and Gregg Roth

This Practitioners Manual provides step-by-step guidance for drug court teams looking to help participants pursue higher education. The other three manuals provide support for participants, interns, and trainers.

Publications

From Drug Court to Classroom: Creating a Court to College Program (Trainers Manual)

From Drug Court to Classroom: Creating a Court to College Program (Trainers Manual)

By Corey Calabrese, Valerie Raine and Gregg Roth

This guide for trainers is one of four manuals that, together, explain how drug court teams can create a program to help drug court participants pursue higher education. The Practitioners Manual provides a road map for the entire program, which gives step-by-step guidance to participants enrolling in and seeking financial aid for college. The other two manuals provide support for participants and interns.

Publications

From Drug Court to Classroom: Creating a Court to College Program (Participants Manual)

From Drug Court to Classroom: Creating a Court to College Program (Participants Manual)

By Corey Calabrese, Valerie Raine and Gregg Roth

This guide for participants is one of four manuals that, together, explain how drug court teams can create a program to help drug court participants pursue higher education. The Practitioners Manual provides a road map for the entire program, which gives step-by-step guidance to participants enrolling in and seeking financial aid for college. The other two manuals provide support for interns and trainers.

Contact
  • New York
  • 520 8th Avenue
  • 18th Floor
  • New York, NY 10018
  • phone: 646.386.3100
  • Syracuse
  • One Park Place
  • 300 South State Street
  • Syracuse, NY 13202
  • phone: 315.266.4330
  • London
  • Kean House, 6 Kean Street
  • London, WC2B 4AS
  • phone: +44 2076.329.060