Mobile County District Attorney's Office

Helping Families Initiative

The Helping Families Initiative (HFI) is a vital crime-prevention program aimed at tackling chronic school truancy head-on.

By partnering with local school systems, HFI takes a proactive approach to intervene early and support students and their families before they become entangled in the juvenile justice system. Recognizing that truancy often signals deeper underlying issues, HFI provides resources, guidance, and support tailored to the specific needs of each family. By addressing truancy early on, we not only help prevent future involvement in the criminal justice system but also foster a supportive environment for academic success and overall well-being.

The Problem

Many children in our community face insurmountable odds on a daily basis that impede their ability to be successful in school. Children may be exposed to domestic violence, drugs, gangs, homelessness, sexual abuse, poverty and lack of basic necessities. As a result, children may exhibit unacceptable behaviors in school that result in multiple suspensions.
However, education is the key to success for our children and community. Suspensions result in lost instructional days that can lead to students repeating grades, dropping out of school and engaging in criminal activities.

Overview of the Program

The Mobile County District Attorney’s Office receives referrals from the school systems for students who are approaching the maximum number of tardies and absences allowed.

Our HFI Case Officer will work with the student and their family to develop an individualized plan including area community agencies and services to address the needs of the student as well as the whole family. After the original assessment, our HFI Case Officer will continue to monitor the student’s behavior to ensure there is a reduction in at-risk behaviors and increase in school success.

Community Partners

The Mobile County District Attorney’s Office, through the Helping Families Initiative, will be the central hub to bring together students and their families with the resources they need to be successful. 

Our goal is to intervene early before students are referred to the juvenile justice system, thereby decreasing juvenile arrests and dropout rates.