Issues: Families with Service Needs
Status offenses are behaviors that are troubling in young people but are not crimes, behaviors like truancy, running away and defying parents. In Connecticut, the system for addressing status offenses is called Families With Service Needs. Recent reforms have further decriminalized FWSN cases, assuring kids get help – not detention.
State site with legislation and committee reports.
2013, The Vera Institute of Justice. Policy recommendations for responding to status offenses that emphasize family engagement and other alternatives to court-system involvement.
2013, The Coalition for Juvenile Justice. Outlines in detail the research-based best practices for responding to age-based offenses such as truancy, running away, or violation of curfew.
The Justice Research Center: Process and Outcome Evaluation of the 2007-09 Connecticut Families with Service Needs Initiative, March 2010
The Final Process and Outcome Evaluation Report includes a brief description of the Families with Service Needs initiative; an overview of the four operating Family Support Centers; a review of the research methodology; a discussion of the process and outcome evaluations; and some suggestions on how these results can be used to inform future FWSN interventions.
This 2006 presentation discusses the connections among Special Education, Family with Service Needs cases, and Juvenile Justice.
The joint FWSN protocol between the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch and the Department of Children & Families. The protocol provides effective diversion from the juvenile justice system and provides speedy and complete access to necessary services.
The final report of the Families with Service Needs Advisory Board is now complete.
Learn what programs in your community are preventing kids from entering the juvenile justice system and support them.
Let policymakers know that you want your tax dollars spent on programs that work.