As part of recent Juvenile Justice Reform efforts in North Dakota, the 2021 Legislature approved a new program to be provided by the human service system so that children in need of services who have not committed crimes can be served in the community and outside of the Juvenile Court system.
As of Aug. 1, 2022, law enforcement and schools should refer children and youth to the new Children in Need of Services Team, staffed by Human Service Zone professionals across the state. (Please do NOT continue to make referrals to Juvenile Court). See NDCC 27-20.3-05.
Program Serves Children and Youth Whose Behaviors Include:
- Truancy from school
- Regularly disobeying their parents
- Using and possessing tobacco and related products
- Running away
NOTE: The Juvenile Court will continue to serve children/youth who are referred for delinquent behavioral under NDCC 27-20.4.
- Connect children/youth in need of services and their families to appropriate services in the community
- Focus on prevention, treatment and support and divert individuals from entering the juvenile justice system
Make a Referral to the Children in Need of Services team
Parents, guardians, law enforcement officers and school officials can:
- Complete a CHINS Referral Form (Law Enforcement can use their current referral paperwork if they wish.)
- Submit the Referral Form to Children in Need of Services Team by FAX: (701) 328-0104 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Adobe Help LINK: How to Save, view and search PDFs in Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Adobe Help LINK: How to Print PDFs in Acrobat Reader (adobe.com).
- Children in Need of Services Intake & Case Management Policy
- Flyer: Connecting Children to Help - Who Do I Contact?
- Flyer: Educational Neglect vs Truancy
- ND Century Code 27-20.3-05 Method of making a Child in Need of Services referr (Effective after July 31, 2022)
- ND Century Code 27-20.2-01 Definitition (See Item No. 5 "Child in need of services" definition)
IMPORTANT: Parents in crisis or with youth in crisis should call 211 or 988 (Behavioral Health Crisis Line)
School officials filing a referral alleging a child is a child in need of services, must include information that shows:
- The school district has tried to resolve the concern through all appropriate and available educational approaches; and
- The school district has sought to engage the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian in solving the concern, but the person has been unable or unwilling to do so, and the problem remains.
If a school official is filing a complaint alleging a child is a "child in need of services" involving a child who is eligible or suspected to be eligible for services under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990 [20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.] or Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 [29 U.S.C. 725], information must be included that demonstrates that the legally liable school district:
- Has determined the child is eligible or suspected to be eligible under the federal IDEA of 1990 [20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.] or Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 [29 U.S.C. 725]; and
- Has reviewed for appropriateness the child's current individualized education program and placement and has made modifications as appropriate.
- A referral alleging that a child is a child in need of services under NDCC Section 27-20.2-01 must be sent to the applicable human service zone.
Fact Sheet: Educational Neglect vs. Truancy
Contact for Policy Questions
Children and Family Services, Department of Health and Human Services
Attn: Cory Pedersen, Section Director
600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 325
Bismarck ND 58505-0250
Phone: (701) 328-2316
Toll Free: (800) 245-3736
Fax: (701) 328-3538