Allen, 16, was placed in the custody of Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) when he became a client of Council for Children’s Rights. Allen had been abused and neglected by his parents and experienced significant trauma in his young life. He was struggling academically and behaviorally and was not getting the support he needed to be successful at home or in school.

Council for Children’s Rights knew Allen required treatment that would stabilize his behaviors, help him improve academically and learn independent living skills he would need as an adult. Allen’s advocate worked diligently to find the most appropriate program for him, and refused to place him in the “first available” or “least expensive” program.Real People: Large Group Children Together Outdoors Friends Dive

With the support of the entire child and family team, Allen was enrolled in a Transitional Living Services program, outside of Mecklenburg County, that focused on decision-making skills, employment, money management, housing and education. Allen received tremendous support and excelled in the program, making A’s and B’s and forming relationships with positive mentors.

Despite a great deal of progress, Allen was unfortunately involved in an incident, resulting in a long-term school suspension of 365 days. Through CFCR’s advocacy, he was able to secure alternative education services in lieu of sitting out of school for such an extended period of time.  Additionally, Allen personally apologized to the Mecklenburg County Board of Education for his behavior.

Through the Transitional Living Services program, he continues taking classes, earning credits and working his way toward a high school diploma. In the future, he hopes to attend college, study business management and open his own shoe store. For a student who could easily have been caught up in the “school-to-prison” pipeline, this is a tremendous outcome.

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