Positive Steps


Every student should feel supported and successful in school.

Students with chronic truancy (missing 10% or 18 days of a school year) are less likely to receive a high school diploma and eventually earn a living wage job. Truancy also predicts higher rates of violent behavior and involvement with the justice system. When attendance is a problem, Pierce County Juvenile Court, schools, parents, caregivers and other professionals refer students and their caring adults to the Positive Steps program. 


  • Strength-based needs assessment of child and family, with a family-driven plan for success
  • 3–9 months of in-home and community-based services
  • Re-enrollment or re-engagement in school
  • Connections with Pierce County mental health, substance abuse, social service agencies, and case management services in the school community
  • Advocacy and updates at court hearings and school meetings
  • Functional family therapy and parent partner services
  • Parenting classes and support using Love & Logic and Parent Project 

Our Positive Steps teams are made of community members who can help connect Positive Steps students and families to local recreation and social activities, mentoring, tutoring and services to support basic needs. After enrollment, Positive Steps staff, students and caring adults work together to: identify strengths of the student and their caregivers, identify barriers to attendance, create shared goals and tasks to improve attendance and keep students out of court, and prevent violence.


  • Services are free to eligible students
  • Services are for families and students involved or at risk of getting involved with Truancy Court
  • Students must be willing to participate and meet with Positive Steps staff in your home, school, or community
  • Students must reside in unincorportated Pierce County, within the city limits of Tacoma, or lack stable housing

Postive Steps Brochure

For more information please contact:

Arthur Dennis
Dropout Prevention & Re-Engagement 

Unincorporated Pierce County
Natasha Hollingsworth-Ford 
Positive Steps Program


Our partners include, Pierce County Juvenile Court - Remann Hall, Unincorporated Pierce County Schools, Tacoma School District, Tacoma-Pierce County Healthy Department, and Pierce County Human Services.

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