The Williamson County Juvenile Services (WCJS) truancy diversion program, the Neighborhood Conference Committee (NCC), is a county-wide, community based collaboration, whose partners include 7 school districts, the Justice of the Peace (JP) Courts, WCJS, United Way of Williamson County, Bluebonnet Trails Community Services and community volunteers. The Prevention Services Division currently serves the following School Districts: Bartlett, Florence, Georgetown, Granger, Jarrell, Round Rock and Taylor.
The mission of Prevention Services and NCC, is to divert youth from the juvenile justice system through a multi-tiered collaborative effort by referring youth and their families to both school and community based services. Some of these referrals may include: substance abuse counseling and treatment, pregnancy or parenting resources within school or within the county, healthcare navigation and access, Parenting with Love and Logic classes and other informal supports, school, faith-based mentoring, special education testing, aligning financial assistance through appropriate school and government agencies, culturally relevant informal supports, Parenting with the Assets training, individual counseling and psychiatric mental health services and support and teen runaway and crisis intervention. Wraparound and Case Management services increases the development of informal support systems and works to decrease disproportionate subgroup representation in the Juvenile Justice system.
Community volunteers are trained to serve as part of the NCC Intake Team for the school year. The team consists of two community volunteers, the student and the parent(s)/guardian(s). During the intake process, the volunteers guide the student to assess what changes the participants identify as priorities, discuss the root causes of truancy issues, identify the people who might support them in their change, assess any potential roadblocks, and ultimately, establish an affirmative strategy. This strategy is the youth’s Positive Action Plan (PAP). The PAP is reviewed weekly with their Case Manager and each success is celebrated. The volunteers meet again with the student upon completion of the program to discuss how the plan might be used to achieve success in other areas of their lives, and applied toward future goals. The volunteers utilize Motivational Interviewing Techniques to conduct NCC intakes and the Volunteer Coordinator visits each site on a rotating basis to work with volunteers to provide ongoing support and thereby ensure all strategies are implemented with fidelity.