Do you feel like your child is out of control?
All families experience crisis from time to time. Some issues that challenge parents may be children who skip or miss school, run away from home, refuse to follow directions or make poor life choices. Parents and caregivers may be able to resolve most of these problems quickly, but sometimes families have problems that push them to the limit and they may need CINS/FINS services.
What is CINS/FINS?
The Florida Legislature passed a law (Chapter 984, F.S.) that provides help to Children In Need of Services (CINS) and Families in Need of Services (FINS). These programs are open to children age 6-17 years old and their families. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) funds and supports these counseling programs to keep kids out of serious trouble. Young people who are runaways, habitually truant, ungovernable (do not obey their guardians) or homeless – and their families – can receive free services to improve their behaviors, resolve conflicts effectively and start communicating again. CINS/FINS programs are in your area and your local agency will walk you through the options that best fit your needs.
A youth may be referred to nonresidential counseling or a short-term residential counseling stay at one of our programs depending on the need of your family. Your counselor will work with you, your child and others to develop a plan that ﬁts you and your child’s needs and goals. Find a program near you.
What is a Case Staffing Committee?
Sometimes youth need a little extra help. Another form of interventions our staff may utilize is a Case Staffing Committee or CINS Petition.
What is Case Staffing Committee?
A Case Staffing may be requested for a youth by your CINS/FINS counselor after your child is screened and an intake is completed to review your child’s needs. A Case Stafﬁng is held by a committee made up of people from the CINS/FINS program, school board, parent or legal guardian and any other person who may be able to help the committee. You may recommend other people from the community who know, or have worked with, your child and family such as a youth group leader, church pastor or mental health provider to attend the Case Staffing to provide information about your child and family to the committee. The purpose of this Case Staffing is to review your child’s situation and service plan developed by you, your child and the CINS/FINS program. The Case Staffing Committee will meet with you and your child to review the case if:
- you or your child do not agree with the services or treatment offered; and/or
- you or your child are not participating in the services or help that has been offered; and/or
- the CINS/FINS counselor needs help in developing a better plan for you and your child.
The Case Staffing Committee will develop a plan for services, which may include recommending the filing of a CINS petition with the court. A Case Staffing committee may recommend the following options for a youth:
- Additional Services
- Referrals to Other Agencies
A parent, guardian or legal custodian of a child may request a Case Staffing be held. We recommend talking with your CINS/FINS counselor before requesting a Case Staffing. To request a Case Staffing Committee meeting, a parent must submit a request in writing to their CINS/FINS provider and they will have seven working days to hold a committee meeting. This seven-day period does not include holidays or weekends.
The Case Staffing Committee will develop a plan for services, which may include recommending the filing of a CINS petition with the court. A parent may request a Case Staffing Committee meeting, by submitting a request in writing to their CINS/FINS provider.
What is a CINS petition?
A CINS petition is a formal written request to the court to find that your child is a CINS. A CINS petition is usually ﬁled if the child refuses services or continues to show problem behaviors. The CINS petition may be ﬁled in court, only as a last resort after voluntary services have been offered and have not been enough to resolve the child’s behavior. The local DJJ attorney will ﬁle a CINS petition, if recommended by the Case Stafﬁng Committee, and if the child meets the legal definition of a CINS.
If you, as a parent, do not participate, do not allow your child to participate or you allow your child to ignore the services in this plan, you may be ordered to participate in family counseling and other services, and insure your child attends school as part of the CINS Court’s orders. If you fail to abide by court orders, you may be held in contempt of court. You, as a parent or legal guardian, can also ﬁle a CINS petition with the court if:
- The local program will not hold a case stafﬁng after having received your written request for a case staffing, and/or
- The local program does not schedule a case stafﬁng within seven days of receiving your written request, and/or
- You do not agree with the service plan made by the Case Stafﬁng Committee, and/or
- The local program has not given you a report of the reason to recommend or decline a petition within seven days after the case stafﬁng and/or
- The DJJ waives the statutory requirement for the Case Staffing Committee to meet.
If you wish to file your own CINS petition, the law requires that you let the local DJJ attorney know, in writing, of your wish to file a petition. If you fail to do so, the court may automatically dismiss your petition.
In your CINS petition which must be signed under oath, you must show that you have participated in and tried voluntary services that have been offered and that the services were not enough to help you and your child resolve your problems. Filing a CINS petition is not a way to get emergency mental health services or substance abuse services for your child.
A CINS Court does not have the power to force a school to provide special services for your child, or to force the Department of Children and Families to provide services. If you need help with these types of services, talk with your CINS/FINS counselor and they can refer you to agencies that can assist you. The CINS Court will require the child and family to participate in services provided by either the CINS/FINS provider, or within the community. The parent, guardian or legal custodian will be financially responsible either out-of-pocket or through insurance to pay for community services. Many services are available on a “sliding scale” based on the family’s ability to pay.
Click Below to download our CINS/FINS Parent Brochure:
The Florida Network of Youth and Family Services also offers other programs outside of Residential and Non-Residential CINS/FINS services that are designed to target two very different populations. Stop Now and Plan (SNAP) is a prevention program designed for youth ages 6-11 and their families. The Domestic Violence Respite program is for youth who have been charged with Domestic Violence on a family member and meet the criteria for alternative placement.
Domestic Violence Respite
Services are for youth charged with Domestic Violence on a household member. Must be referred by their local Juvenile Assessment Center.
The Florida Network works in conjunction with the Department of Juvenile Justice to provide youth arrested for Domestic Violence (DV) a safe alternative to secure detention. Services are short-term residential placements for youth ages 10-17 who do not meet criteria to be detained and do not have an alternative relative placement. Youth are referred by their local Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) or on call screener following an arrest for DV on a household member.
Eligible youth are provided respite at one of the Florida Network’s 28 CINS/FINS shelters around the state. Services include face to face assessments, service orientation, case management, counseling, transportation and referrals for additional services or specialized counseling. Upon intake counselors begin working with the youth and his/her family to resolve the conflict that resulted in the youth’s arrest with the goal of family reunification. Youth can stay up to 21 days, however the average length of stay in fiscal year 2015-2016 was 9 days. Since contract execution in 2013, the Florida Network has served 2,790 youth and of that 93.9% have either returned to their families, are receiving outside treatment or found a safe alternative following a respite stay.
Domestic Violence respite functions as a safe alternative to secure detention; focusing on preventing youth from falling further into the juvenile justice system and strives to keep families together.
STOP NOW AND PLAN (SNAP)
The SNAP Program serves as a “front-end” resource to the Department of Juvenile Justice, Office of Prevention, for at-risk youth ages 6-11 and their families. The Florida Network implemented the Stop Now And Plan (SNAP) Program in four cities statewide, including CDS Family & Behavioral Health Services in Gainesville, Youth Crisis Center (YCC) in Jacksonville, Capital City Youth Services (CCYS) in Tallahassee and Orange County Youth and Family Services in Orlando.
Each SNAP program provides high-risk youth and their families strategies to increase pro-social skills that will help the youth stay in school and out of trouble by making better choices throughout the 13-week pilot program. Youth and their families participate in engaging activities such as group discussions, role-playing, interactive games and self-reflection to address topics including dealing with anger, learning how to cope and practice self-control, engaging in problem solving and learning not to bully and how to prevent bullying.
According to the Child Development Institute, research has shown that the program leads to fewer arguments at home, immediate decreases in delinquency and aggression, less bullying, less antisocial behavior and more positive interactions between teachers, peers and family members. The program has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, aggression and delinquency and improve social competency. These effects of the SNAP program can help improve relationships between child and parent and encourage youth to say “no” to an unhealthy or troubled future.
If you are interested in getting more information about participating in the SNAP program, you may contact the following SNAP Site Coordinators:
Jacksonville: Sterling Hurst, (904) 720-0002 at YCC
Tallahassee: Rhone Francis, (850) 491-8082 at CCYS
Orlando: Amber Minton, 407-254-9373 at Orange County Youth and Family Services
Gainesville: Corey Collins, (352) 244-0628 ext. 3804 at CDS Family & Behavioral Health Services