Families in Need of Services (FINS)

  • Kenneth Blackson, FINS Officer
    Richland Parish Courthouse
    708 Julia Street
    3rd Floor
    P.O. Box 90
    Rayville, LA 71269
    Phone: (318) 728-6922
    Fax: (318) 728-6945

Who can be helped by FINS?

Any child under the age of 18, a caretaker, or any other members of child's family, who is alleged to be in need of services

Who and How does one make a referral to FINS?

Families In Need of Services intervention must be initiated by the filing of a written complaint by a caretaker, other adult family member, a representative of an agency having the responsibility or ability to supply services to a family, or any other person authorized by the Juvenile Court (examples: school officials, police officers, district attorneys, judges, treatment facilitates)

When should referrals be made to FINS?

  • if a child is truant or has repeatedly violated school rules
  • if a child is ungovernable
  • if a child is a runaway
  • if a child has repeatedly possessed or consumed intoxicating beverages, or has misrepresented or deceived his age for the purpose of purchasing or receiving such beverages
  • if a child has committed an offense (examples: gambling, cigarettes, etc.) applicable only to children
  • if a child under ten years of age has committed any offense which by an adult would be a crime under any federal, state or local law
  • if a caretaker has caused, encouraged, or contributed to the child's delinquent behaviors or to the child's behaviors enumerated above
  • if, after notice, a caretaker has willfully failed to attend a meeting with the child's teacher, school principal, or other appropriate school employee to discuss the child's truancy, repeated violation of school rules, or other serious educational problems
  • if a child is found in possession of a handgun or semiautomatic handgun

Who is the FINS Officer?

A neutral person responsible for identifying problem areas and needed services. This person convenes a mandatory conference for the purpose of designing an informal family service plan (IFSP). The job of this person becomes one of monitoring the IFSP to ensure that proper actions are taken, thus improving youth/family's situation(s).

The Process

1. Complaints

FINS office receives a written Juvenile Complaint from the parent/caregiver, other adult family member, or personnel of law enforcement, public or private service providers, the child's school, or other agency approved by the Court.

2. Initial Screening

An initial interview, including social history and risk screening, is completed through meeting with the child, parent/caregiver, and other family members as needed. Information is gathered from the school and any service agencies involved with the family.

3. Family Services Planning Conference

A Family Services Planning Conference is held with the family and all involved parties (usually referral source, school personnel, and representatives from service agencies), during which an Informal Family Services Plan Agreement (IFSPA) is developed.

4. Monitoring/Service Provision

Services are provided by FINS staff or through arrangements with other service providers. Monitoring is conducted by a FINS Monitor or Case Manager through regular contact with the child, parent/caregiver, school personnel, and any involved service agencies. After six months, the case is reviewed, with three possible outcomes:

  1. case closure, with dismissal of the original Complaint,
  2. extension of the IFSPA for another six months, with possible additions and/or revisions,
  3. referral to Court

5. Other

Cases are monitored for a minimum of six months and a maximum of one year from the development of the IFSPA. Referrals to Court are made only after all other attempts at resolution are exhausted.

The information contained herein is derived from the Louisiana Children's Code Handbook 2002

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