(Families In Need of Services)

What is FINS?

The Families In Need of Services (F.I.N.S.) 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. F.I.N.S. goals are to benefit the child and improve family relations.

How does FINS work?

The F.I.N.S. process begins with a written complaint, submitted to the F.I.N.S. 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 willfully fails to attend meetings 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 F.I.N.S. If these recommendations are not followed, F.I.N.S. may refer the family to court, a F.I.N.S. 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 Juvenile Court.

How to file a complaint?

If you are in need of assistance involving the non-criminal matter of a child (e.g. truancy, insubordination, runaway), you may contact the child's local school officials or your local police department for F.I.N.S. referral information.