Special Education Advocacy: An Intervention Program

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Spring 2006

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The Special Education Advocacy (SEA) program was initiated in 2001 to address the growing concerns of the overrepresentation of special-education students involved with the juvenile court in a large, southern metropolitan city. The SEA has recently completed its fourth year of service in this city. This study evaluated the first two years of service. The Special Education Advocacy Coordinator (SEAC) determines if the school is fulfilling its obligation to provide a free and appropriate education to special-education students processed by the juvenile court system. The SEAC's services range from administrative file reviews to case management to helping find appropriate school placements. This atheoretical, formative, and exploratory program evaluation collected data concerning demographic makeup, state-defined recidivism, overall recidivism, and SEAC-provided services. The program is innovative, serving an overrepresented population within juvenile court systems, and certainly is worthy of review by other court systems grappling with this population of youth.

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