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