CHINS Diversion Program
Serving youth and families residing in the 19-town jurisdiction of the Keene District Court in Keene, NH who are at risk of a CHINS petition.
CHINS (Child in Need of Services) is a legal term commonly used to describe youth who are determined to be:
- Repeatedly truant from school
- Repeatedly running away
- Repeatedly disobeying their parent/guardian, or other authority
A typical process for dealing with such youth involves police, schools or parents filing a CHINS petition with the Juvenile Court. Involvement in Juvenile Court can be costly and is sometimes unnecessary depending on the current family and youth situation.
The CHINS Diversion program exists to assist youth and families going through difficult times. It offers an opportunity to explore options before a family situation ends up in court. The CHINS Diversion Program understands that the issues often faced by families experiencing such difficulties are multifaceted, high in tension, and crisis oriented. It is important to develop communication and service links between the family, schools, and service providers. It is important to help direct and inform families of their pre-court options.
THE CHINS DIVERSION PROGRAM OFFERS TO CHESHIRE COUNTY RESIDENTS:
- Information and Referral
- Case Management
- Short Term Support
- Help in identifying and assessing the services most appropriate to meet the needs of the youth and family
- Coordination of Services
An avenue for holding youth accountable for their behavior and empowering them to make changes in their own lives families and youth the opportunity to problem solve and take control over their lives and difficult issue
The CHINS Diversion Program is accessed through referral by local police departments, schools, parents, and other service agencies. The Caseworker will then contact the family for an initial interview. The goal of the interview is to begin to identify the services and resources available to assist the family in their current situation. If the need for case management services is determined, a meeting will be arranged to assess the issues and develop a service plan. Case management will require active participation and on-going compliance with the service plan for a period of approximately 3 months.
Effective change requires involvement by all family members. If the CHINS matter can be resolved through involvement and participation with the CHINS Diversion Program, the case will close without an appearance before a judge, or the youth having acquired a court record.
- Running Away
- Not following the reasonable rules of parents or authority
- Experiencing consistent problems in school (cutting class, not doing homework, talking back to staff)
- Early signs of alcohol or other drug use
- Agreeable to intervention
- Safe in the community
- Youth aged 7-17 years
- Not previously involved in the Juvenile Court System by either Delinquency or CHINS petition
- Not previously involved in Court Diversion
- No current or pending abuse or neglect finding
For more information, or to make a referral, please call the CHINS Diversion Program Caseworker at: 603-757-1800, print out referral form and mail in to CHINS Diversion 3 Washington Street Keene, NH 03431, fax 1-866-688-8040, or contact us. REMEMBER: THIS PROGRAM IS ONLY FOR RESIDENTS SERVED BY THE KEENE DISTRICT COURT LIVING IN THE SURROUNDING TOWNS OF KEENE, NH.
This program is Funded by NH DHHS Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, Cheshire County, DCYF Incentive Funds, and the City of Keene.