34th Judicial District

Hon. Manuel A. Fernandez

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Families in Need of Services

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DISTRICT RESOURCES » Families in Need of Services

Families in Need of Services

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 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. FINS goal are to reduce formal juvenile court involvement while generating appropriate community services to benefit the child and improve family relations.

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 meetings with school officials to discuss the child's problem. Once a complaint if filed, the family is expected to cooperate with efforts to resolve its problems as recommended by FINS. If these recommendations are not followed, FINS may refer the family to court, a FINS conference, and/or a hearing before a judge. If a hearing should happen, each and every member of the family shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court.

Following an extensive interview to assess the unique needs of each family, a family service plan is developed. This may be done during the initial interview or in a group conference consisting of family members and service providers. Compliance with the service plan is monitored by a FINS officer or other designated party for a maximum of six months without further judicial order. The child and family are not adjudicated unless there is failure by family members to cooperate with the mandates of the service plan.


FINS Officer: Kim Nunez

Phone: (504) 270-0283
Fax: (504) 270-0805