Juvenile Court – Division B

Youth & Family ServicesThe Department of Youth & Family Services (DYFS)

Families in Need of Services (FINS)

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.

Goals of FINS?

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. 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.

DYFS/FINS Contact

Name
Email
Contacts
Cole Sisung
DYFS/FINS Administrator
Office: (504) 393-5765
Cell: (504) 206-2090
Fax: (504) 393-5760

The Louisiana Children’s Code Title VII provides for the establishment of Families in Need of Services.  Article 726 states its purpose:

“To define self-destructive behaviors by the child and conduct by other family members which contribute to the child’s harm and which warrant court intervention in the family’s life so that appropriate services to remedy the family’s dysfunction can be secured.

To secure the effectiveness of the court’s intervention by explicitly confirming its duty to obtain the cooperation and coordination of all public institutions or agencies having responsibility to supply services to any member of the family referred to the court.

To establish a family service plan binding upon all family members and the appropriate service providers; and

To protect the integrity of the family by authorizing adjudication and the imposition of a dispositional judgment requiring participation in a plan of services only after all available voluntary alternatives have been exhausted.”

Juvenile Probation

Juvenile probation officers are assigned and work closely with the Judge, the schools and the DYFS/FINS Administrator in monitoring juveniles.  The Juvenile Probation Officers are:

Name
Email
Cell Phone
Brandon Mouriz
(504) 206-2091
Kevin Riley
(504) 758-0023
Ruby Smith
(504) 812-6779

The Department of Youth and Family Services is located at 115 Keating Drive, Belle Chasse, LA 70037.
The office is used for meetings between probation officers and families by appointment.  Inter-agency conferences, classes in parenting, anger management, counseling and other services pertaining to juveniles and families are also held at this location in cooperation and coordination with the Plaquemines C.A.R.E. Center.

Form

File Name
File Format

Links

Resources

Louisiana Child Abuse Hotline
#1-855-4LA-KIDS (452-5437)
*reports made orally must be followed by a written report to DCFS or local law enforcement within five (5) days. 
A form CPI-2 for this purpose is available at www.dcfs.la.gov/abuse

VIA LINK 2-1-1 CALL CENTER
Serving New Orleans and the Surrounding Parishes:
Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles
St. Helena, St. John, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington
vialink.org

VIA LINK provides crisis and suicide counseling and connects people to community resources that help them to resolve life's biggest challenges.
Call center counselors are available 24 hours a day to provide crisis counseling and information and referral to programs to help with needs such as food, shelter, medical care, financial assistants, counseling programs, substance abuse treatment, childcare, etc.  GNO 2-1-1 website

F.I.N.S.
Families In Need of Services (FINS)

Flowcharts
Delinquency process
Child In Need of Care (CINC) process
Families In Need of Services (FINS) process