The purpose of the education advocate is to assist juveniles previously incarcerated in county detention centers or juvenile institutions to successfully transition back to community schools, vocational training, college, GED programs or jobs.
In fall of 2008, the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) expanded the JRA transition service education advocate model to specifically reach multiple areas across the State and to widen the scope of current transition services for youth in communities where detention centers are located. These Education Advocate services are implemented and coordinated through the nine Educational Service Districts. The overarching goal of the Education Advocate program aligns with that of the JRA-based EAs and the Detention Center Transition specialist work, which is to reduce the rate of recidivism among youth offenders transitioning from secure facilities (Washington's Education Advocate Program Manual - OSPI, Nov. 2009).
We case manage students who have been identified by the school or community members for being at risk of re-offending or dropping out. Examples include students with problems involving truancy, failing several classes, and disciplinary issues as a result of behavioral issues
Education advocates engage in a range of activities, moving from simply linking youth to needed services to a more intensive involvement such as advocating, consulting, skill building/education, counseling support and problem solving. Case management plans are individualized according to the level of support needed for each youth.