By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new report shows just how many Philadelphia school students have had brushes with the city’s Department of Human Services (DHS) or the juvenile justice system.
The report, by the Policy Lab at Children’s Hospital, says 17 percent of Philadelphia school students have been involved with DHS or the juvenile justice system, and 20 percent of those in high schools.
And across the board, the report warns, those students don’t perform as well as others and are more likely to need special education services.
What to do with this information?
As a start, DHS commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose says, the department will redeploy 27 social workers to work with schools.
“It’s no secret that the district really doesn’t have the finances necessary to solve some of these problems on their own,” Ambrose tells KYW Newsradio, “so DHS is going to use this report and use the data to guide strategic investments that we need to continue to make.”
The study shows that students with DHS contact are concentrated in comprehensive and alternative-education schools, compared to charter or magnet schools.
Lori Shorr , the mayor’s chief education officer, says the report has big implications.
“A public school system is only as good as the outcomes it achieves for its most vulnerable students,” Schorr says.