What is Fins?
How does FINS work?
FINS Case Flow Chart
What is FINS?
Families In Need of Services (FINS) became effective in all courts having
juvenile jurisdiction on July 1, 1994, as Title VII of the Louisiana Children's
Code. It is a new approach designed to bring together resources for the purpose of
helping families (troubled youth and their parents) to remedy self destructive behaviors
by juveniles and/or other family members. FINS goals are to reduce formal juvenile
court involvement while generating appropriate community services to benefit the child and
improve family relations. Juvenile Services is a member of the Statewide FINS Association.
The FINS process begins with a written complaint, submitted to the FINS
program office alleging that a family is in need of services. Anyone may file a
complaint, however, it is most common that law enforcement, school officials and parents
make the referrals. Grounds for such a complaint are that a child is truant or has
willfully and repeatedly violated lawful school rules, ungovernable, a runaway, in
possession of or consuming intoxicating substances, the caretaker is contributing to the
child's problematic behavior, and/or the caretaker willfully fails to attend meeting with
school officials to discuss child's problem. Once a complaint is filed, the family
is expected to cooperate with efforts to resolve its problems as recommended by FINS.
If these recommendations are not followed, FINS may refer the family to court, a
FINS conference, and/or a hearing before a judge. If a hearing should happen, each
and every member of the family shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court.
There are several advantages to participating in FINS. Children and
families have the opportunity to access services that are targeted to properly address the
underlying causes of pre-delinquent behavior. Following an extensive interview to
assess the unique needs of each family, a family service plan may be developed. This
may be done during the initial interview or in a group conference consisting of family
members and service providers. Compliance with the service plan is monitored by a
FINS officer for a maximum of six months without further judicial order. The
child and family are not adjudicated unless there is failure by family members to
cooperate with the mandates of the service plan.
FINS Case Flow