The 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 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.
How does FINS work?
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. The complaint must allege at least one of the grounds listed below:
Child is truant or has willfully and repeatedly violated school rules.
Child is ungovernable
Child is a runaway
Child repeatedly possessed or consumed intoxicating beverages, or that he has misrepresented or deceived his age for the purpose of purchasing or receiving such beverages from, any person, or has repeatedly loitered around any place where such beverages are the principal commodities sold or handled.
Child committed an offense only applicable to children.
Children under 10 years of age committed any act, which if committed by an adult would be a crime under federal, state, or local law.
Caretaker has caused, encouraged, or contributed to the child's behavior under this Article or to be commissioned of delinquent acts by a minor.
After notice, caretaker willfully failed to attend meeting with the child's teacher, school principal, or other appropriate school employee to discuss child's truancy, the child's repeated violation of school rules or other serious educational problems of the child.
Child found incompetent to proceed with a delinquent matter.
A child found to have engaged in cyberbullying.
Once a juvenile has been adjudicated, the Judge has the option to place the youth on probation with conditions. The length of probation is determined by the seriousness of the offense. There are three types of probation:
Unsupervised-this is the least restrictive of probations. The majority of adjudicated youth are on this type of probation. These juveniles are monitored monthly through status meetings. The status meetings are conducted at City Court or the juvenile's school. The parent/guardian must attend these meetings. During the status meeting, the juvenile's school records are reviewed (attendance, discipline, and academics). If the youth is doing well at school and home, the court will continue monthly monitoring.
Supervised- this level of probation is supervised by a City court probation officer. This type of probation is called Juvenile Intensive Supervised Probation (JISP). Juveniles placed on JISP are repeat offenders and/ or first-time non-violent felony offenders. Once a probation officer is assigned, the juvenile is monitored weekly at home and at school. If the juvenile violates any condition of the probation, the officer files a report to the Judge and the youth must appear in court for a revocation hearing. If during the revocation hearing, the juvenile is found guilty of violations, the Judge may order the youth be held in Terrebonne Parish Detention Center.
State Probation- this type of probation is with the State of Louisiana through the Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ). State probation is reserved for chronic repeat offenders and those found guilty of serious felony offenses. Violating the conditions of state probation, could result in an out-of-home placement for the juvenile. If a juvenile is placed in the custody of the state, they are removed from the parent's custody and placed in a non-secure or secure facility.
State Funded Services
Child Welfare and Attendance Department for Terrebonne School Districts
Department of Education
For school-related issues only - (985) 876-7400 ext. 237 and 239
Magnolia Family Services (MFS)
Office of Mental Health and Rehabilitation Services & CPST/PSR
1418 Tiger Drive.,
Thibodaux, LA 70301
Online at: www.magnoliafamilyservices.com
Regional Office in Thibodaux, LA
Teche Action Clinic
1014 West Tunnel Blvd.
Houma, LA 70360
Bayou Oaks Health Services
142 Laura Dr., Suite D
Thibodaux, LA 70302