Families in Need of Services
FINS is an intervention program for families on the verge of crisis due to the ungovernable behavior of a child or adolescent. The primary goal of FINS is to secure appropriate services to remedy the family’s dysfunction.
In the summer of 1998, VYJ began contracting with the Juvenile Court for Caddo Parish to perform the mandatory conferences for the legally-mandated FINS process. FINS addresses the needs of status-offender youth, including those who are truant, runaways, and ungovernable. This informal legal process was created by a law passed in 1992, and is intended to define and identify self-destructive behavior by a child or other family members which contribute to the child’s harm, and warrant possible court intervention in the family’s life. The primary goal of FINS is to secure appropriate services to remedy the family’s dysfunction.
Upon receipt of a FINS referral from parents or law enforcement agencies, FINS mandatory conferences are held wherein an informal contract is made between child and parent. A case plan is developed to get the needed services for the family. The VYJ FINS officer works with the family for a period of six months to ensure the case plan is completely executed.
Although FINS seeks to avoid formal court involvement, occasionally court petitions may be filed requesting formal adjudication in order to ensure that appropriate services are provided to the family. Through the FINS process, every possible attempt is made to retain the structure and integrity of the family unit. When a FINS officer is involved, the recidivism rate (relapse into criminal behavior) is reduced to 3% or less.