Manatee County has Compulsory School Attendance that, by law, requires all children ages 6-16 to attend school. Students ages 17 and 18 are also compelled by law to attend school, if they have not obtained a high school diploma or properly completed the paperwork to voluntarily terminate their enrollment. Our department utilizes a diverse cadre of social workers and intervention staff to assist students and families in overcoming obstacles that negatively impact student attendance.

    School Social Workers

    Manatee County School Social Workers are Master’s level professional with Florida Department of Education Certification who serve as a link between students/families, schools, and the community. We promote and support the success of approximately 50,000 students in over 50 District public schools, charter schools, and contracted sites by providing specialized services that include:

    • Individual and group counseling
    • Social- developmental and Educational Evaluations
    • Parent consultation, education and training
    • Professional case management
    • Serving as members of school problem solving teams
    • Consultation with School Psychologists, School Counselors, Teachers, Administrators and other School Staff
    • Advocacy for students and parents
    • Staff Development
    • Serving as leaders and members of District Crisis Stabilization Teams
    • Collaborating with schools and community agencies to identify needs and develop services
    • Facilitating referrals to community agencies
    Graduation Enhancement Technicians (GETs)
    GETs are allocated to schools receiving federal Title One funding. These specialists develop and utilize early warning systems to identify students who are most at risk due to absenteeism, lack of health/personal care, homelessness, and poor parent involvement.  They collaborate with school social workers, guidance counselors, teachers and school leaders to develop systemic strategies to identify and support students who are frequently absent within our most at-risk populations. 

    For more information regarding the GETs program, please contact Angie Schmitz at: 941-751-6550, ext. 43345


    For more information on the truancy process, please call Steve Wigginton at: 941-751-6550, ext. 43091